The 29-year-old Merrill had five assists and 70 blocked shots in 49 games last season, with the Detroit Red Wings and Montreal Canadiens. He was traded from the Red Wings in April to the Canadiens, who used the Oklahoma City native in 13 postseason games during their run to the Stanley Cup finals.
Merrill has 12 goals, 54 assists, 364 hits and 507 blocked shots in 405 career NHL games. The Wild will be his fifth team. He joins Alex Goligoski and Dmitry Kulikov as free agent defensemen additions, after the Wild bought out Ryan Suter, lost Carson Soucy in the expansion draft and let Ian Cole leave as a free agent.