Greenville, SC – The Greenville Swamp Rabbits have come to terms on a contract with forward Will Merchant for the upcoming season. The Swamp Rabbits acquired the rights to Merchant two weeks ago from the Idaho Steelheads, completing the future considerations portion of a trade for Jack Nevins during the regular season.
“Coach Kerr has been great throughout the whole process. While speaking to him you can tell he loves the game right away and wants to bring a winning hockey club to Greenville,” said Merchant.
“I have heard nothing but great things about the city of Greenville,” he continued. “It’s a beautiful city with great weather and the fans show great support for the Swamp Rabbits. I’m excited for the opportunity to play in Greenville. October can’t come soon enough! ”
Merchant, 24, is entering his third season in the pro ranks, having played the last two years in Idaho. In 139 games, Merchant has collected 94 points (38G, 56A) in 139 ECHL games and also made his AHL debut in 2016-17 with the Texas Stars. The 6-foot-1 skater ranked fifth on the Steelheads roster in scoring last season with 46 points (17G, 29A) and notched three game winning goals. He also brings playoff experience to the lineup after logging 11 games and four points (1G, 3A) in two post-season appearances.
“This is an exciting and big addition for our team. Will proved in his first two seasons in Idaho that he is a high-caliber player who consistently finds the score sheet. We are excited for him to expand his game even further and take that next step in Greenville.” said head coach Kevin Kerr. “We’re going to look for him to step in and be a big contributor for us in the offensive zone right from day one.”
The Eagan, Minnesota native is a product of the University of Maine from 2012-2016. As a senior, Merchant led the Black Bears with 13 goals and added nine assists for a career best 22 points. He also captained his alma mater in the 2015-16 season. In total, Merchant logged 136 games and 39 points (22G, 17A) after enrolling at the university.
Before joining the collegiate ranks, Merchant skated for his hometown Eagan Wildcats where he produced 135 points (73G, 62A) in 114 games. He went down as one of the best players in his high school’s history, ranking among the top five producers in points, goals, assists, and games played. In his junior season, Merchant received the Jack Semler Most Improved Player Award.
Merchant is the third player to sign with the Swamp Rabbits, joining JT Henke and Johno May. As the offseason continues, stay tuned to SwampRabbits.com for a full updated list of players to sign for the upcoming season.
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