Avalanche acquire Ryan Merkley from Sharks in 4-player trade

The Sharks received 2018 first rounder Martin Kaut in return.

The San Jose Sharks sent Ryan Merkley to the Colorado Avalanche after the promising defenseman reportedly requested a trade earlier this month. (Getty Images)

The Colorado Avalanche acquired defenseman Ryan Merkley and forward Matt Nieto from the San Jose Sharks for forward Martin Kaut and defenseman and Jacob MacDonald on Wednesday.

Merkley, 22, requested a trade earlier this month, as reported by Daily Faceoff's Frank Seravalli. Drafted 21st overall in 2018, Merkley had six points in 39 games as a rookie with the Sharks last season and has 14 assists in 30 games with the AHL's San Jose Barracuda in 2022-23. The Oakville, Ont., native was a star in the Ontario Hockey League from 2016-2020, putting up 269 points in 248 career games, but saw his draft stock fall due to perceived "attitude issues."

Nieto, 30, has eight goals and 15 points in 45 games this season. Nieto spent four seasons with the Avalanche between 2016 and 2020, registering 81 points in 251 games.

Kaut, 23, was Colorado's 16th-overall pick in the 2018 NHL Draft. In 47 career NHL games spanning over four seasons, the Czech forward has three goals and six points.

MacDonald, 29, was signed by the Florida Panthers on two-year, two-way contract in 2018 after going undrafted out of Cornell University. MacDonald has 12 points and 21 penalty minutes in 76 career NHL games.

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