The 24-year-old is apparently considering leaving Lugano one year before his contract runs out in 2019, The Athletic's Aaron Portzline reports. Although his agent Steven Kotlowitz was not willing to comment on the matter when asked by the same source, word is that Merzlikins has travelled to North America to make a decision about his future, and that there is a chance to see him sign with the NHL's Columbus Blue Jackets.
However, as HC Lugano's team manager Roland Habisreutinger tells Blick, they do not plan on letting Merzlikins out of his valid contract: "There were no talks, no inquiry and Elvis does not have an NHL out clause. So this is not an issue at all." He also adds that they will not let him out of his deal even if he should ask for an early contract termination.
Merzlikins was drafted by the Blue Jackets in 2014 in the third round as 76th overall. The Latvian international had an outstanding season: With HC Lugano he reached the playoff final and with the Latvian national team he clinched a berth in the quarterfinals of the World Championship, posting a save percentage of 0.94.
Last Update: 22 May 2018, 04:17 PM | tme*
Hearing that #CBJ prospect G Elvis Merzlikins is in Los Angeles. Reports from abroad suggest Merzlikins is considering trying to get out of final year of contract with Lugano in Switzerland. Agent Steven Kotlowitz would not comment when reached by The Athletic.— Aaron Portzline (@Aportzline) May 21, 2018