Golden Knights sign Jon Merrill to 2-year extension

Defenseman Jon Merrill has decided to return to Vegas for the foreseeable future after signing a multi-year extension.

The Vegas Golden Knights and sparingly-used defenseman Jon Merrill have agreed to terms on a two-year contract extension worth $2.75 million ($1.375 million AAV).

Toronto Sun writer and editor John Matisz was first to report.

The 25-year-old blueliner, who was selected from the New Jersey Devils in the expansion draft, was slated to become a restricted free agent in the summer and has seen action in just 14 games this season.

Merrill spoke with Las Vegas Sun reporter Jesse Granger and cited the city, community  and fans among the reasons for agreeing to a multi-year pact to remain in Vegas with his family.

“It’s an incredible city to live in,” Merrill told Granger. “Everything is easy to get around to and people are extremely friendly. It’s a great place for my two young girls to grow up. Not to mention, the atmosphere at T-Mobile Arena rivals any arena in the country in my opinion.”

The multi-year extension gives the blueliner stability and the Golden Knights much needed depth on the back end going forward whether he is the teams seventh defenseman or regularly drawing into the lineup.

“I’m happy any time my number is called,” Merrill said. “I’m just happy to be a part of the team and contribute in whatever way they need me.”

Merrill is also the third Vegas defender to be locked up through next season since November as he joins Brayden McNabb, who signed his four-year extension on November 29th, and Deryk Engelland who signed a one-year extension earlier in the week. Nate Schmidt and Brad Hunt are also locked in through next season.

“I was extremely excited for the opportunity to stay here and be a part of this great organization for a couple more years,” Merrill said. “I really had no expectations when I was selected ... but (owner) Bill Foley and (general manager) George McPhee made it a point from the very beginning in training camp to make it a fun, hard-working environment.”

Merril has a goal, an assist and a plus-five rating in his limited action this season. He also has a 52.8 CF% in limited, sheltered minutes for the Golden Knights.