Axemen add defenceman to lineup
The Acadia Axemen are proud to announce the commitment of defenceman Merrick Rippon to our hockey program. Merrick, a native of Ottawa, is described as a hard-hitting defenceman who played his junior career on the blue line for parts of three OHL seasons with the Mississauga Steelheads and his hometown Ottawa 67’s.
Originally drafted by the Kitchener Rangers, his OHL rights were moved from Kitchener to Mississauga, where he played to start the 2017-2018 season. At the Christmas break, the 6-foot-1 defenceman was dealt to the Ottawa 67’s.
Over his OHL tenure, he has suited up for parts of three seasons with the 67’s in the OHL. Rippon has a total of 54 points in 168 regular-season games played in the league and was a big part of a long playoff run in 2019, which saw the 67’s sweep their first three playoff series on route to a 4-2 series loss in the J. Ross Robertson Cup finals. Following the season, Rippon was invited to the NHL’s Carolina Hurricanes rookie camp, but couldn’t attend due to an injury.
In 2020, Rippon was on track for a career year before the season came to an abrupt halt, recording 13 points in 36 games played.
With the OHL not playing due to the pandemic in 2021, Rippon signed a amateur tryout (ATO) with the AHL’s Belleville Senators. Merrick suited up for 1 game with the AHL club.
Coach Burns is excited to add Rippon saying, “Merrick comes from a tremendous background as he was an integral part of the Ottawa 67s. He is an excellent addition for us as he played in an organization which is extremely high profile and a lot of responsibility comes with playing there as it does here. He has a team first mentality and is a fierce two way defencemen with very good mobility . He is tailor made for AUS hockey. He’s all about compete and accountability on the ice. He will be counted on heavily to play against teams top lines.”
Rippon joins a very impressive recruiting class put together by Coach Burns and his staff, with the additions of netminder Max Paddock, fellow defensemen Luke Zazula and Olie Mainolfi, and forwards Luke Moncada, Keegan Stevenson, and Adam McMaster. The Acadia Axemen are the host team for the 2021-22 UCup national tournament, taking place in March in Halifax.