Jon Merrill won’t forget his first.
The Devils rookie, playing in his 31st career contest, scored his first-ever NHL goal in overtime on Friday as the Devils beat the Oilers 2-1 at Prudential.
Merrill, the former University of Michigan standout taken 38th overall in 2010, took a Michael Ryder pass in the extra frame and rifled home a shot past Ilya Bryzgalov to snap New Jersey’s two-game losing streak:
Merrill, 22, had his freshman campaign derailed early as he suffered a concussion in his NHL debut back in November. The big-bodied defenseman missed six games and had to spend some time with AHL Albany before returning to New Jersey but has been good over the last while, earning the confidence of head coach Peter DeBoer and getting the minutes that come along with it.
Merrill played 20:49 against Edmonton on Friday, earning first-star honors.
— NHL Public Relations (@PR_NHL) February 8, 2014