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Avalanche acquire Matt Nieto and Ryan Merkley from San Jose

Matt Nieto returns to Colorado after spending two and a half seasons with the San Jose Sharks.

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

Nieto has 15 points (8 goals and 7 assists) in 40 games with the San Jose Sharks this season.

This will be Nieto's second stay with the Avalanche. He was first added to Avalanche's roster during the 2016-2017 season and played with Colorado through the 2019-2020 season. Nieto was originally a second-round pick of the San Jose Sharks during the 2011 NHL Draft.

The Long Beach California native played his 600th career NHL game on Dec. 20 against Calgary, becoming only the second California-born player to reach that milestone.

Merkley has recorded 14 points (0 goals and 14 assists) in 30 games with the Sharks American Hockey League (AHL) affiliate, the San Jose Barracuda this season. Merkley was selected in the first round of the 2018 NHL Draft by the San Jose Sharks. He has played in 39 career NHL games for the Sharks with 6 points (1 goal and 5 assists).

Merkley also recorded 269 points (54 goals and 215 assists) in 248 career Ontario Hockey League games. He led all rookies in assists and points in the 2016-2017 season, earning First Team All-Rookie Honors.

Kaut has 3 points (1 goal and 2 assists) in 27 games this season with the Avalanche. He has split time between the Avalanche and the AHL's Colorado Eagles this season.

MacDonald has played 33 games for the Avalanche this season. He has 2 points (0 goals and 2 assists). The defenseman has played in 76 career NHL games with the Florida Panthers and Colorado.



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