BINGHAMTON (WBNG) - It was all looking up for Nick Merkley,
"I think I've been pretty good all year," said Binghamton Devils forward Nick Merkley.
A 2015 first pick pick to the Arizona Coyotes, he was well on his way to a career in the NHL.
"There's that added pressure of going that high and people are believing in you so obviously you want to produce and show what they drafted you for, said Merkley.
At the end of his first professional season he suffered a major setback that took him off the ice.
"I tore my knee for the second time there so that was a battle that took nine months off the ice, so that was probably the hardest thing to go through."
Choosing to look at the glass half full, Merkley worked his way back.
"Just to get back to being a good player was a battle but I think that adversity kind of helped in the long run so it was good to go through that."
Getting back to the Roadrunners only to be thrown another curveball - being told he was a part of a blockbuster trade that would send him from Tuscon, Arizona to Binghamton, New York
"I think it was defintley a suprise, obviously it was a big trade and just excited to have that opportunity and excited to be here."
Once again Merkley has embraced a new adventure.
"There's that pressure being in a big trade like that so I think that definitely helped to jump start me."
He's scored more goals in his first twelve games in Binghamton then the 26 prior in Tuscon.
"Been pretty fortunate to get a couple good bounces here so just have to keep going that same way."
Looking to keep that positive energy and knowing that a call to New Jersey might not be too far away.
"Just want to keep pushing for a job up there, obviously it sucks being at the bottom of the standings but I think it could be a good opportunity so excited to keep winning with this team and hopefully get a shot up there too."
The Binghamton Devils return home Saturday night to host the Laval Rocket. Puck drop is 7:05 p.m.