The OHL is well known for nurturing many hockey talents. Many of those young players managed to make the ultimate step in joining the NHL. Other are still working on their way in the most prestigious hockey league in the world. One of those young talents is Ryan Merkley. A Canadian ice hockey defenceman who is currently playing for the London Knights in the Ontario Hockey League (OHL) as a prospect to the NHL side San Jose Shark.
The OHL Career Journey
Ryan Merkley rise to prominence started at the Guelph Storm as a draft in the 2016 OHL Priority Selection. He played his first OHL game on September 23, 2016. Also, the talented athlete managed to record an assist in a 5–1 victory over the Saginaw Spirit. He quickly became influential in the Storm team. Therefore, Merkley scored 12 goals and 55 points in his rookie season, while appearing in 62 games. Consequently, Merkley was awarded the Emms Family Award as the OHL Rookie of the Year for the 2016–17 season.
Merkley returned to Guelph for the 2017–18 season, as he started the season off with two goals and nine points in his first six games. He went on to have a great season. And was ultimately picked as 21st overall in the 2018 Draft by the San Jose Sharks.
But his career journey took him back at the Storm as per the assignment of the San Jose Sharks. He was influential that season as well but his stay was cut short as the Storm announced that they traded Merkley to the Peterborough Petes for Pavel Gogolev. But his stay with the Petes did not last long. And he was traded at the start of the 2019–20 season from Peterborough to the London Knights in exchange for future draft picks. And during the 2019-20 season, Merkley scored 15 goals and 76 points in 60 games for the Knights. Most notably his point total was the second-highest among all OHL defencemen during the season.
His international career record so far stands at 5 games for Canada U17, 5 games for Canada IH18, and Canada WJC18
The Bottom Line
Ryan Merkley is a prime example of a talented player that has made his mark on the OHL. The OHL quality of play enabled this talented 5’11’’ right defensemen to attract teams such as the San Jose Sharks.