Ryan Merkley has asked for a trade.
Frank Seravalli of The Daily Faceoff was the first on the story:
Sources say #sjsharks have made 2018 first-round pick D Ryan Merkley available. Merkley recently requested a trade and Sharks are trying to accommodate.
Merkley, 22, has played 39 NHL games and still has waiver eligibility.@DailyFaceoff
— Frank Seravalli (@frank_seravalli) January 3, 2023
The San Jose Sharks’ 2018 first-round pick is the highest-scoring defenseman for the San Jose Barracuda this season, tallying 14 assists in 30 games. The offensive blueliner also skated in 39 NHL contests last season, recording a goal and six points.
But it’s striking that we haven’t seen Merkley with the San Jose Sharks this season. Despite injuries to Markus Nutivaara, Mario Ferraro, and Radim Simek, Merkley has yet to receive the call.
Six days ago, Merkley was benched for two periods by head coach John McCarthy in the Barracuda’s 5-1 loss to the Bakersfield Condors. Merkley did not skate in the team’s practice today, according to Lizz Child, but his off-ice workout was already planned.
John McCarthy had this to say about Merkley’s season to this point: “He wants to get better, he wants to help the team so there’s going to be an element of frustration and I understand that.”
The San Jose Sharks prospect is approaching a crossroads, as his entry-level contract expires after this season. A fresh start could head off the downward trend in his career outlook.
As his agent J.P. Barry told The Mercury News: “We feel a change will be better for him opportunity-wise after five years.”
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