Megna Goes Pro; Merrill Returning

ANN ARBOR MI - DECEMBER 11: Jon Merrill #24 of the Michigan Wolverines celebrats a first period goal while playing the Michigan State Spartans at Michigan Stadium on December 11 2010 in Ann Arbor Michigan. (Photo by Gregory Shamus/Getty Images)

Nebraska-Omaha suffered another offseason defection late last week when Jayson Megna, the team's second leading returning scorer, announced that he would be leaving school to sign a pro contract.

Megna had a breakout season as an overage player in the USHL two seasons ago for Cedar Rapids when he posted 30 goals and 58 points in 60 games to finish as the league's ninth highest scorer. He followed that up with an impressive freshman campaign at UNO where he notched 31 points, which ranked fourth among freshmen in the WCHA last year.

The two impressive seasons earned him serious consideration from the NHL, including an invite to the Pittsburgh Penguins prospect camp, and reportedly six or seven NHL contract offers. Megna told the Omaha World-Herald he had narrowed his options down to Pittsburgh, Winnipeg, or Boston, and reports on Monday indicated that he was close to finalizing a deal with the Penguins.

Meanwhile. Red Berenson told the Detroit News that defenseman Jon Merrill will be returning to Michigan for his junior season. Merrill was reportedly weighing his options between returning and signing with the New Jersey Devils when he went to New Jersey's prospects camp, but apparently he decided to stick with Michigan for another year. Merrill had a rocky season to say the least last year, when he missed the entire first half of the season due to suspension. He was exceptional when he returned from suspension, though his play faded heavily at the end of the season. Putting together a complete season at Michigan would go a long way in helping his stock as a professional player.

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