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What Must Merkley Improve Defensively? | SJHN+

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SCOTTSDALE, Ariz. — Ryan Merkley still has a long ways to go.

Despite a productive start to the 2021 Rookie Faceoff Tournament — Merkley notched three assists in an 8-4 loss to Anaheim — it’s the other end of the ice where the San Jose Sharks‘ 2018 first-round pick must improve by leaps and bounds to have a chance at making an NHL impact.

Merkley’s defensive micro-stats from last year — a San Jose Hockey Now exclusive from SPORTLOGiQ — illustrates some of the 5-foot-11 defender’s problem areas.

These are 5-on-5 stats for 292 eligible AHL defensemen:

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