2019-20 Team: Chicoutimi Sagueneens (QMJHL)
Date of Birth: Oct. 27, 2001
Place of Birth: Carbonear, NL, Canada
Ht: 6’0” Wt: 179 lbs
NHL Draft Eligibility: 2020 first-year eligible
- NHL Central Scouting: 6th (among NA Skaters)
- Future Considerations: 12th
- HockeyProspect.com: 12th
- THW Josh Bell’s February Rankings: 17th
- THW Andrew Forbes’ March Rankings: 16th
- THW Larry Fisher’s March Rankings: 20th
- ISS: 12th
- Dobber Prospects Mid-Season Rankings: 23rd
After starting the year with the Drummondville Voltigeurs – who he had spent parts of three seasons with to start his QMJHL career – Dawson Mercer was moved to the Chicoutimi Sagueneens following his return from the World Junior Championship where he represented Canada.
Related: 2020 NHL Draft Guide
Prior to the tournament, Mercer had 42 points in 26 games for the Voltigeurs, including 18 goals. Following the move, he continued his torrid offensive pace, averaging over a point per game with his new club with another six goals and 18 points in 16 games before the season was suspended.
While he lacked the production for Canada at the World Juniors, with no points in seven games, the fact that he still played a minor role on route to a gold medal win for Canada is a prime example of what Mercer brings to any lineup he might find himself in.
He’s dropped off a little in some of the latest rankings as his playmaking and decision making on the ice has continue to be inconsistent and questionable at times this season, but that’s not to say he can’t get it done at both ends of the ice. The fact that Mercer is still a first-round potential talent is thanks, in large part, to the high ceiling that many expect this kid to have.
The offence is there. If he can buckle down and continue to build on his abilities away from the puck, Mercer could be an incredible pick for a team who finds themselves with a mid to late first-round selection.
Related THW Draft Profiles
Dawson Mercer – NHL Draft Projection
Even with the questions regarding his consistency in the decision-making aspect of the game, Mercer will be a no-doubt first-round selection at the upcoming NHL Draft. While some have him ranked as high as a sixth overall, the likelihood is that he will drop in somewhere in the 12 to 17 overall range. The only way he climbs into a top-10 pick is if a team knows and is willing to work with him on his minor in-game setbacks.
“His shooting accuracy can be shaky at times, he is inconsistent with his puck control and occasionally Mercer will make bad decisions with the puck when traffic is bearing down on him. While he has a few flaws in his game, he has a lot of promise. His edges are strong and he can weave around traffic in transition. Mercer always seems to find open ice in the offensive zone and is a crisp passer.” – Josh Tessler, Dobber Prospects
“Mercer plays a lot bigger than his 6’0 frame, excelling below the hash marks and around the crease. Equal parts playmaker and goal scorer, he looks to have the makings of a strong complementary piece on a scoring line.” – Brock Otten, McKeen’s Hockey
- Offensive production
- Decision making
- Play away from the puck
He may not come in as a top 10 pick, but Mercer’s ability to produce puts him in a position to eventually take on a top six role. There is room to grow – both in defensive zone play and decision making – but that won’t keep him from being an important role player at some point in the near future.
Risk – 2/5, Reward – 3.5/5
Fantasy Hockey Potential
Offense – 7/10, Defense – 7/10
Mercer was part of the gold medal winning Canadian squad at the 2020 World Junior Championship that took place in December and January. He finished the tournament with no points in seven games, but donned gold following a hard fought game against Russia.
Andrew is in his 8th year reporting for The Hockey Writers covering the Toronto Maple Leafs. He began his broadcasting with CBC’s Hockey Night in Canada team as well as being part of their coverage of the 2014 Winter Olympic Games in Sochi. He’s the former play-by-play voice of the London Jr. Knights for Rogers TV and currently hosts the Sticks in the 6ix podcast. You can follow him on Twitter at @AndrewGForbes.