Merrill left the ice dazed and bleeding as a result of crashing into the boards after losing his footing in a puck-chase with Minnesota's Torrey Mitchell. It looked as though Merrill's face made contact with the boards as he slid and when the 21-year old Rookie was able to get his wits-about him enough to sit up, blood trickled from a cut above his eye.
"That's tough," Peter DeBoer said. " We were looking forward to seeing him play. He's earned the opportunity to get up here. So you never like to see an injury like that at any point, but particularly on his second or third shift in the NHL."
According The Record and Devils defenseman Andy Greene, Merrill received stitches for the cut and Head Coach Peter DeBoer announced that Merrill underwent testing for a possible concussion.
The Devils went on to lose to the Minnesota Wild 4-0 for their second shutout of the season.
Before his 6 a.m. flight to Minnesota to join New Jersey on Sunday, the former University of Michigan defenseman was playing well for Albany of the American Hockey League. In 11 games this season, Merrill has two goals and five assists. Merrill was partnered with Eric Gelinas on the blue-line for the first five games of the AHL season before Gelinas was recalled by New Jersey.