Per NJ Devils General Manager Lou Lamoriello (through NorthJersey.com) and later confirmed by Red Berenson, junior defenseman Jon Merrill will miss the next six weeks after fracturing a vertebrae last night in the exhibition game against Windsor. Merrill was at the rink in a neck brace today. He will not require surgery, but will require time to heal.
You can't replace a Jon Merrill--especially when you're breaking in a new goalie--but thankfully defense is one position where Michigan is very deep. They were looking at scratching a player every single night who played 30+ games a year ago (Clare, Serville, Chiasson), so they'll be able to plug in an experienced player in Merrill's place at the very least.
Make no mistake this is a big blow early on, but thankfully it sounds like Merrill will be able to return this season (and earlier than he did last year). Best wishes to him in his recovery.
Update: Mike Spath talked to Red, and Coach says that they'll pair Clare with Trouba, Serville with Moffie, and Bennett with Chiasson.