With the World Juniors on its way at a blink of an eye, our attention now goes to Hockey Canada’s very own Newfoundlander, Dawson Mercer. The New Jersey Devils announced on Thursday afternoon that he has been signed to an entry-level contract.
Looking back at the NHL Draft, I had mentioned him as a physical body centre, much like Patrice Bergeron, and he can shoot really well like a young Michael Ryder in his prime. One of the keys to this signing is that GM Tom Fitzgerald wants to add that grit and sandpaper while bringing that dirty area style of hockey that wins puck battles.
At the NHL level, with this eighteenth overall selection, Mercer, who I had ranked 11th overall, is the kind of guy I can see take over Travis Zajac’s spot in the near-term future. The Devils are very fortunate to have a guy who knows what it’s like to play for a National Team program such as Hockey Canada. His leadership skills on and off the ice are something that Devils fans will surely embrace and welcome with joy during this holiday season.
According to a source, Dawson Mercer will head back to Chicoutimi once the season resumes to close his junior career. Once the season comes to a close, he will then join the Devils just in time for next season. June 24th is the last game for the Saguenéens should they fail to secure a spot in the playoffs.
The signing will be perfect timing when the New Jersey Devils lock up winger Alexander Holtz to an entry-level contract. His addition will provide the Devils wing depth and an extra boost to their scoring offensively. Until then, Mercer takes to the ice with the Canadian National Team in Edmonton on Saturday.
Team Canada faces Tim Stutzle and Team Germany at the home of the Oilers at 6:00pmET. The game can be seen on TSN and RDS, the official broadcast partners of Hockey Canada. It can also be heard on TSN Radio, with all 28 games being carried across the country.