Toronto extends newly-acquired transition star with new contract agreement
The Toronto Rock have announced that the team has signed newly-acquired transition player Brodie Merrill to a three-year contract extension pending league approval.
The Rock acquired Merrill in a blockbuster trade in August from the New England Black Wolves (formerly the Philadelphia Wings) for a combination of players and draft picks. The runner-up for NLL Transition Player of the Year in 2014, Merrill had one-year remaining on his previous contract. The extension has him under contract through the 2018 NLL season.
“The contract gives me a chance to get settled for the long term and hopefully the rest of my career,” Merrill said. “It is nice to have that commitment and put it behind me and just focus on playing and contributing.”
Merrill has also chosen to wear the number 37 with the Toronto Rock. He will wear the number in honor of good friend and former teammate Kyle Miller who wore it in Junior Lacrosse while the two played together in Orangeville. Kyle passed away in 2013 after a long battle with cancer and is also the brother of Rock goaltender Brandon Miller.
The number also pays homage to another close friend of Merrill’s, Chris Sanderson, who passed away in 2012 after fighting cancer.
“I have worn 17 my entire career but it is obviously not available here,” explained Merrill. “I gave it a lot of thought. To me, it is a combination between Chris Sanderson who wore 17 and Kyle Miller who wore both 35 and 37. The number has great meaning to me. Every time I put on that jersey, it will be a reminder of their legacy and what they meant to me.”
The two-time winner of the NLL Transition Player of the Year Award was one of three major additions to Toronto’s defensive corps over the off-season. Toronto has increased their depth and size on defense with the additions of Merrill, Jeff Gilbert (free agent) and Brock Sorensen (trade with Minnesota).
The Rock will open what is shaping up to be an incredibly competitive training camp on Saturday, November 29th at the Toronto Rock Athletic Centre in Oakville.