With the 18th Pick in the 2020 NHL Entry Draft, the Devils Have Selected Dawson Mercer From the Chicoutimi Sagueneens of the QMJHL
About Dawson Mercer
The underrated forward from Newfoundland possesses a high motor, superb puck retrieval skills, and excellent playmaking abilities. Mercer can also play center ice, so that will make him even more valuable down the road. Throw in the fact that he can impact a lineup even without producing is a skill in itself, as evidenced by his performance at the 2020 World Juniors. He could be one of the bigger surprises to come out of the first round, especially after getting selected where he did.
THW Prospect Profile Excerpt
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 continued 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.
How This Affects the Devils’ Plans
The Devils add yet another strong center to their depth chart in Mercer to team up with Jack Hughes and Nico Hischier. He adds character, skill and the intangibles that make a player special. He was on Team Canada for their gold medal win and still played a role on the team, even though he was on the younger side.
Just like the Kings, the Devils will have a three-headed monster down the middle for seasons to come. Now they just need to fix their depth on defence and wings, which could come later on in the first round.