I fail to see how mock drafts have anything to do with trade value. NHL GMs and NHL scouts said Merrill was worth the 38th overall pick at that time. They couldn't care less about where some mock drafts put Merrill.
For example, some mock drafts had Reece Scarlett as a solid second round pick. He fell to the 6th round. He's played very well since drafted. I think most Devils fans think he's a good prospect but I doubt he has much trade value since he's proven nothing at the AHL or NHL level.
Merrill has a similar issue of not having an AHL or NHL track record and he barely has a college record. I think you're really overvaluing Merrill's trade value by focusing on his positives and avoiding the negatives and risks associated with him.
The only negatives that I hear about him are the off-ice issues and his injury. Both dont appear to be concerns for the Devils at this point, so I can only go on that. At this point, his risks are the same as any defensive prospect who is projecting to be a first pairing defenseman, I would say even less so in that Merrill is a bit older, has shown he could perform at a high level in NCAA play, and even during a short stint in the AHL.
Sent from my iPad using Tapatalk HD