The Arizona Coyotes made it clear they had big plans for Nick Merkley when they made the Kelowna Rockets’ forward their first pick in this summer’s NHL entry draft.
Merkley’s pro career moved another step closer to reality this week when he signed a three-year entry level deal with the Coyotes.
The 5-foot-10, 191-pound Merkley led the Rockets in scoring in 2014-15 with 90 points on 20 goals and 70 assists in 72 games,
He ranked sixth in the league in scoring and finished third in the WHL in assists.
Merkley added 27 points in 19 postseason games to help the Rockets win the Ed Chynoweth Cup as WHL champions. He also collected three goals and five points at the 2015 Memorial Cup to help Kelowna reach the championship game.
The 18-year-old native of Calgary has totaled 45-103-148 and a plus-53 rating in 139 career games with the Rockets.
He was named the 2013-14 WHL Rookie of the Year after recording 25-33-58 in 66 games.