Vegas Golden Knights general manager George McPhee has extended an other of his player today, as the team announced they have signed defenseman Jon Merrill to a two-year contract extension! The 25-year old defenseman was set to become a restricted free agent at the end of the season. The deal is believed to be for an annual average value of $1.3M.
Drafted 38th overall by the New Jersey Devils in 2010, Merrill played 230 games in the NHL so far, scoring seven goals and 31 assists for a total of 38 points. He also added 96 penalty minutes. The Golden Knights claimed him in the expansion draft from New Jersey last summer. This season, the Oklahoma City native has one goal and one assist in 14 games played.
Head coach Gerard Gallant also confirmed that forward Cody Eakin will be out of the lineup tonight, as he is dealing with an upper-body injury. Forward Ryan Carpenter will draw back in.
Drafted 85th overall by the Washington Capitals in 2009, Eakin played 421 games in the NHL so far with the Capitals, the Dallas Stars and the Golden Knights, scoring 71 goals and 101 assists for a total of 172 points. He added 13 points in 19 playoff games. The Winnipeg, Manitoba native was claimed in the expansion draft by the Golden Knights from the Dallas Stars last summer. This season, he has six goals and 12 assists for a total of 18 points in 42 games played.
Carpenter, 26, was claimed on waivers from the San Jose Sharks by the Golden Knights on December 13th. He only played one game with Vegas this season, without registering a point. In 29 games played in the NHL so far, the Oviedo, Florida native has two goals and three assists for a total of five points and six penalty minutes.
The Golden Knights are currently first in the Pacific division with a record of 29-10-3. Coach Gallant also confirmed that goaltender Marc-Andre Fleury will get the start tonight against the Predators.