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London Knights acquire defenceman Ryan Merkley

Courtesy San Jose Sharks Twitter

When Ryan Merkley did not attend training camp with the Peterborough Petes this year, the question began to pop up again and again.

Where would Merkley play in 2019-20?

The answer arrived on Thursday night. Ryan Merkley will play for the London Knights.

London General Manager Mark Hunter acquired the former first overall pick in the 2016 OHL Priority Selection from the Peterborough Petes in exchange for a 3rd round pick in the 2022 OHL Priority Selection, and a conditional 2nd or 3rd selection in 2024.

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The Petes had confirmed they had decided to move in a different direction this year after trading for Merkley last December. Peterborough G.M. Mike Oke told the Peterborough Examiner that, “Finding another opportunity for Ryan would probably be best for everybody… [W]e just felt it wasn’t the right fit.”
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Peterborough gave up forward Pavel Gogolev and five draft picks in the deal.

READ MORE: London Knights unveil new look for the 2019-2020 season

Merkley is reportedly on his way back from San Jose where he has been at training camp with the Sharks. He appeared in one pre-season game in which he recorded two assists in a 4-3 victory over the Anaheim Ducks.

Since he is only 19 and was drafted while playing in the Ontario Hockey League there were basically two possible landing spots. He could remain with the Sharks or return to the OHL.

The Knights headed into this season after major graduation on their blue line. Evan Bouchard, Adam Boqvist, Joey Keane and Will Lochead have all moved on. Merkley will provide some more veteran skill.

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London will also get a chance to provide Merkley with an opportunity to silence detractors who have questioned his maturity and his commitment level.

Merkley owns elite skill. He is an incredible playmaker who has recorded 39 goals and 193 points in 188 regular season games in the Ontario Hockey League.

READ MORE: London Knights enter 2019-20 OHL season as early favourite

There is a chance that he could make his London Knights debut on Friday night against the Erie Otters at 7:30 at Budweiser Gardens.

Coverage will begin at 6:30 from Shoeless Joe’s on King Street on 980 CFPL, at http://www.980cfpl.ca and on the Radioplayer Canada app.

 

 

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