Ontario Reign’s leading goal-scorer Michael Mersch made his NHL debut on Friday in a 3-2 shooutout win against game against the Pittsburgh Penguins and played his second NHL game against the Buffalo Sabres yesterday. Mersch was officially called up Dec. 9 and joined the team after Tuesday night’s win against the Columbus Blue Jackets. In the game against Columbus, the Kings dressed 11-forwards and seven defensemen.
Kings have made the Michael Mersch call-up official.
— Rich Hammond (@Rich_Hammond) December 9, 2015
Injuries to Kyle Clifford, Trevor Lewis and Dwight King have given the Kings an extra forward spot on the roster and Mersch suited up for the team on Friday. Mersch lead the Ontario Reign in goal scoring through 19 games with 12 goals. Mersch also has 3 assists and 15 points in the AHL this season.
The 23-year-old Park Ridge, Illinois native is 6-feet-2 and weighs approximately 200 pounds played in the NCAA with the University of Wisconsin for four years. As a Badger, Mersch 67 goals and 120 points in 157 games and was tied for the most goals by a Big Ten player in 2013-2014 and helped the University of Wisconsin at Madison win its first ever Big Ten tournament title that same year.
Mersch was drafted by the Kings in the fourth-round of the 2011 NHL draft and signed an entry-level contract with the team in April of 2014 after completing his senior year in the NCAA and began playing for the AHL Monarchs for seven games that same year.
The next season, Mersch would play 76 games for the Monarchs scoring 22 goals and 45 points. In the playoffs last year for the Monarchs, Mersch had 13 goals and 22 points in 18 playoff games en route to the team’s first Calder Cup Championship.
Mersch’s NHL Debut Weekend
Mersch’s game against the Penguins was his NHL debut as he began the game lined up with Nick Shore and Dustin Brown and saw 11:01 minutes of ice time. Mersch finished the game with two shots and three hits including a slight break-away against Marc-Andre Fleury in the third period.
In his second NHL game against the Buffalo Sabres, a game in which the Kings lost 2-1 in an overtime decision, Mersch saw his ice-time increase in the second half of back-to-back games from 11:01 minutes against Pittsburgh to 14:32 minutes against the Buffalo Sabres. Mersch finished the game with one shot on goal and one hit lining up beside Shore and Brown for the second time in two nights.
The Kings lost to the Sabres last night in overtime ending the team’s six-game winning streak, but have still earned at least a point in their last nine. The Kings currently lead the Pacific Division by 10 points ahead of the Vancouver Canucks and the Arizona Coyotes and will next face the Ottawa Senators on Monday.