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SJHN Daily: Merkley Not Qualified by Avalanche

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Credit: San Jose Barracuda

The Colorado Avalanche aren’t qualifying Ryan Merkley, making him a UFA.

Reported first yesterday by The Athletic’s Peter Baugh, Merkley was the San Jose Sharks’ first-round pick in 2018. Along with Matt Nieto, Merkley was acquired in a prospect swap by the Avs and Sharks that netted San Jose Martin Kaut plus veteran defenseman Jacob MacDonald.

Merkley was selected 21st-overall in the 2018 NHL Draft and heralded as one of the most skilled defenseman in the class, seeing himself ranked in the top-10 in some rankings. However, concerns about his character and commitment to defense made him drop.

The 22-year-old didn’t play in the NHL this season after posting a goal and six assists in 39 NHL games in 2021-22. He was even benched for two periods by San Jose Barracuda head coach John McCarthy in December before eventually requesting a trade from the organization a week later:

Merkley had no goals and 14 assists in 30 games with the Barracuda before the trade. In 28 games for the Colorado Eagles, Merkley put up two goals and eight points. San Jose Hockey Now spoke with Merkley after the trade:

Ryan Merkley on What Went Wrong With Sharks, What’s Going Right in Colorado (+)

Who will take a flier on Merkley this summer?

AT SAN JOSE HOCKEY NOW…

Newest San Jose Sharks’ forward Will Smith discusses his grandfather’s impact on his hockey career.’

Mike Grier discusses Smith’s edge and Quentin Musty’s large skillset.

Locked on Sharks loves the San Jose Sharks’ first two selections of the 2023 NHL Draft.

The Sharks are considering taking on Tyler Myers‘ contract?

OTHER SHARKS NEWS…

The Hockey Writers explains why the Sharks opted for Will Smith instead of Matvei Michkov.

Mitchell Brown has Luca Cagnoni as one of the best defensemen selected in Day 2 of the NHL Draft.

AROUND THE NHL…

The Chicago Blackhawks are looking to build around Connor Bedard with some recent veteran additions.

The Colorado Avalanche acquired Ross Colton.

Is Reilly Smith going to replace Jason Zucker?

Adam Gajan finishes an impressive draft year as the highest goalie taken in the 2023 NHL Draft.

The Detroit Red Wings acquire two Edmonton Oilers players for future considerations.

Draft analysis from Montreal Canadiens general manager Kent Hughes.

The New York Islanders trade Josh Bailey to Chicago.

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