Boston Bruins

Apr 1, 2021; Sunrise, Florida, USA; Detroit Red Wings defenseman Jon Merrill (24) skates with the puck against the Florida Panthers during the second period at BB&T Center. Mandatory Credit: Sam Navarro-USA TODAY Sports

Decimated by injuries on the backend, and with Monday’s trade deadline looming, the Boston Bruins are among those with an apparent interest in Detroit Red Wings defenseman Jon Merrill.

Considered one of the market’s lesser known options, the 6-foot-3 Merrill has totaled five assists and a plus-2 rating in 36 games with the Wings this season, and is 19:41 time on ice per night is his highest nightly total since Merrill averaged a career-high 20:33 in a 66-appearance run with the Devils in 2014-15.

Prior to signing a one-year, $925,000 deal with Detroit, Merrill, who is a left shot, spent the previous three seasons with the Vegas Golden Knights. Merrill was at his best with the Knights during the 2018-19 season, too, with career-best marks in goals (3), assists (12), points (15), plus-minus (plus-16), and shots (72).

The 29-year-old also appeared in 17 playoff games over his three-season in Vegas.

While not considered the savior by any stretch, Merrill could be a potential diamond in the rough option for the Bruins when looking beyond the surface. Merrill is one of just five Red Wing regulars to have a five-on-five Goals-For percentage of at least 50 percent (meaning his goal differential is even at the very worst), and one of just two defensemen to post such a mark for the Wings. (The other, Patrik Nemeth, was traded to Colorado for a 2022 fourth-round pick Saturday morning.)

Merrill is also one of just three Detroit regulars to be above 50 percent in High-Danger Chances For percentage, and their only defensemen to hit such a mark, at 51.57 percent. And Merrill’s accomplished that in a non-sheltered role, with just over 40 percent of his shifts beginning in the offensive zone.

In other words, he’s been a solid defensive presence on a team that’s just been straight-up awful in oh so many ways.

Overall, Merrill has totaled 12 goals and 66 points in 392 games between the Devils, Golden Knights, and Red Wings.

There’s also no denying that the Bruins need some extra bodies on the backend, as the team remains without Brandon Carlo and Charlie McAvoy, and lost Matt Grzelcyk in the first period of Saturday’s loss in Philadelphia. The Bruins are also looking to monitor Kevan Miller’s playing time — it seems as if Miller will not play on the second leg of back-to-backs as he works his way back from a 19-game absence — as the Bruins approach a rapid-fire finish to the 2021 regular season.

The 2021 NHL trade deadline is set for 3 p.m. this Monday.