The Carolina Hurricanes could be looking to draft Dawson Mercer this summer.
If any Hurricanes fan doubts the importance of the draft, the name Andrei Svechnikov should dispel any doubt. The team’s star forward was chosen second overall in the 2018 draft. A top prospect in the 2020 draft, Dawson Mercer, could add important depth to the right-wing position and help clear up any scoring difficulties the team has faced.
Dawson Mercer is a proud Newfoundland native who revealed in a SportsNet interview that he grew up idolizing fellow Newfoundland native and Detroit Red Wings legend Daniel Cleary. This is readily apparent because highlight videos show that Mercer possesses the same quick-release that Cleary showcased throughout his career.
Mercer seems to have no trouble finding empty ice to make his mark. Although many of his shots land from the face-off location to the left of the netminder, Mercer is not afraid to charge the net because he does not give up on the puck.
In the 2018-2019 season, his last as an Alternate Captain with the Drummondville Voltigeurs, he amassed 42 points with 18 goals and 24 assists. This was after an astounding 64 point season with 30 goals and 34 assists. The 2020 season marked his first with the Chicoutimi Saguenéens where he gained 18 total points before the untimely pause of the season.
Mercer’s most notable prize was taking home a gold medal for the 2020 World Junior Hockey Championship, making him the first player to win the gold for Newfoundland since 1991.
A minor arm injury kept Mercer out of several games before the shutdown, meaning that the extended break will give him plenty of time to rehabilitate his injury. In the same interview, Mercer displays a respect for the game and the players that have come before him:
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“…to be talking to these guys who have been around the game for a long time, they know their stuff and they know what they are talking about, so it is pretty cool to realize who you are talking to when you look on TV and they are the ones on there and hopefully one day they are the ones talking about you even more in the future.”
While Mercer has been regarded as a top 10 prospect, the draft pool is so deep that I could see Mercer being available for the Hurricanes. Point production suffered for the Hurricanes in the 2019 season during several stretches outside of top performers like Sebastian Aho, which is why I believe a quality point producer like Dawson Mercer would prove essential for the organization.