The consensus on Dawson Mercer is the difference between him being a first-liner and a middle-six forward comes down to how much he improves his skating. However, his mobility deficiencies weren’t enough to keep him from being the most surprising player to make Canada’s world-junior team.
Aside from skating, Mercer ticks off just about every box. He’s determined and hardworking, plays well at both ends of the ice and has complementary offensive skill. He can play up and down the lineup and adapt to almost any style of game. “He knows where to give up the puck and he knows where to go to get it back,” said a scout. “He’s competitive, he’s on the puck, he’s in the guts of the action. He’s got really good awareness, a real good feel for where he needs to be and when he needs to be there.”
Mercer is another player who has rocketed up the charts with his play in the QMJHL. Making the Canadian WJC team, even though he didn’t play a big role, made people notice. “He became a very good player this year,” said another scout, “but he has to get a lot stronger and work on his skating.”
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This excerpt is from The Hockey News’ Draft Preview issue. Purchase a digital copy of the issue here.