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Devils prospect Merrill going back to school

Big Chill - Michigan State v Michigan

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)

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Devils prospect Jon Merrill is headed back to Michigan for his junior season, The Detroit News reports.

The 20-year-old defenseman that missed half of the 2011-12 schedule due to a suspension (for “violating team rules”) told Wolverines coach Red Berenson the news Monday morning.

“Jon realized he only played half of the season and he wants to be ready when he makes the move,” said Berenson. “He wants to be competing for an NHL job when he does. He doesn’t want to be playing in the minors. I think it’s the right thing for him.”

Devils GM Lou Lamoriello said earlier this month that “whatever happens in the past, is the past” when asked about Merrill’s suspension.