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Ever since the beginning of the regular season, Dawson Mercer has been nothing short of impressive for the New Jersey Devils. Going back to training camp, and also the preseason match-ups, Mercer was able to turn a lot of heads. He and fellow high-level prospect Alexander Holtz were generating a lot of excitement in terms of their solid overall production.
Mercer appeared in three preseason games and was able to net three points (two goals, one assist) while maintaining a plus-minus of +3. He has also added a few highlight plays for good measures. Obviously, he was able to make the final roster and is already making a name for himself as a possible final candidate for the Calder Memorial Trophy.
Mercer was selected by the Devils with the 18th-overall selection in the 2020 NHL Draft. Prior to being drafted, Mercer actually comes from a compelling hockey background. He is originally from Newfoundland, Canada, and found instant success while playing U15 AAA hockey. In just 24 games, he totaled an astonishing 68 points.
His success leads him to play with the Drummondville Voltigeurs, and then eventually the Chicoutimi Sagueneens of the Quebec Major Junior Hockey League (QMJHL). He played in the QMJHL for five seasons and appeared in 194 games. His scoring totals were still great as he was able to generate 186 points (84 goals, 102 assists).
While his scoring numbers were impressive, a lot of people don’t seem to realize that Mercer is also on the defensive end. In his final season (2020-21) of the QMJHL, he was able to win the Guy Carbonneau Trophy, which is an award given to the best defensive forward. So, while his offensive production is impressive, his overall defensive contribution should not be overlooked.
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Currently, he is tied for fourth on the team for most takeaways (10) and seventh for highest Corsi for percentage (55.8%). On the offensive side of things, he has seven points (three goals, four assists) which places him in the top four in all three scoring categories for the Devils. While Lucas Raymond and Moritz Seider are both having great rookie seasons for the Detroit Red Wings organization, people should not overlook Mercer’s impact and potential. His future is bright on the Devils’ top-six line.