The Colorado Avalanche are unlikely to select sniper Dawson Mercer, who will go before their pick despite a late season injury.
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The Colorado Avalanche are gearing up for a return to play that will see them well set up in the playoffs to make a deep run. So, on the forefront, the upcoming draft isn’t at the top of their minds.
That said, the team has a whole stable of scouts whose only job is to look around for talent to make the Avs better. And, with the draft coming up, they’re sure to be looking at all the prospects, especially for the first round.
One of those prospects is right wing Dawson Mercer. He’s an exciting player out of Newfoundland who’s playing in the QMJHL.
Unfortunately for Colorado — or fortunately since it bodes well for their season — Mercer is scouted to go well before the team’s #27 draft pick. Indeed, Central Scouting has him ranked at #10 for North American skaters. He’s expected to go between #12 to 14.
Well, that’s well above the Avalanche’s draft selection. Nonetheless, let’s see what this young sniper brings to the table.
Dawson Mercer Stats
Dawson Mercer has played the last three seasons in the QMJHL. For most of that time, he played for the Drummondville Voltigeurs. Indeed, this season he wore the A as an alternate for the Voltigeurs.
Mercer had an average rookie year in the QMJHL. In 61 games, he earned 11 goals and 15 assists for 26 points. The next season was his career best for the QMJHL. In 68 games, he recorded 30 goals and 34 assists for 64 points.
It would be unfair to say this season, his draft year, was a letdown since he suffered an injury that kept him out. Here’s the injury:
I can’t tell what it is, and I won’t speculate. However, he played only 42 games before the season was cancelled because of the COVID-19 crisis.
Meanwhile, he was having a good year. He recorded 18 goals and 24 assists for 42 points in 26 games for Drummondville. Meanwhile, when he returned from a stint at the WJC-20, he found himself traded to the Chicoutimi Saguenéens for what’s reportedly a haul. In the 16 games before his injury, he had six goals and 12 assists for 18 points.
Dawson Mercer Highlights
Mercer is known for having a scoring touch. Bill Placzek of DraftSite is the one who christened him a sniper. The scout elaborates:
"“Creates offense (sometimes after going and taking the puck away) by scoring and acting as a playmaker. Will catch goalies with surprise shots from different areas and angles. Likes to let it rip. Not necessarily a dynamic skater, but a smooth one whose high end anticipation allows him be where the puck will end up. “"
I like the idea that he shoots from just anywhere.
Cam Robinson of Dobber Prospects also appreciates his playmaking abilities:
"“Intelligent, play-creating winger. Makes the hard plays, but can also dazzle with his puck skills. Two-step quickness already showing improvements. Wears opponents down.”"
I like the description that his speed is improving.
We’d better have a look at some highlights:
Mercer does look like he doesn’t mind shooting from just anywhere.
Colorado Avalanche and Dawson Mercer
As noted, Mercer is scouted to go well before Colorado’s late 20s draft selection. However, it will be interesting to see if his injury makes him drop. I don’t know if the NHL is still going to hold a Combine, but that hasn’t been mentioned in the plans yet.
If Mercer were to fall all the way to the Avalanche’s draft selection, I’m not sure they’d pick him. They might feel like he’d be the best player available. He certainly has some great puck skills. And he’s already working on his skating.
I’m going to guess that, despite the injury, Dawson Mercer will go before the #27 selection.
The Colorado Avalanche will get a good depth player with their 2020 NHL Draft first-round pick. It’s unlikely to be Dawson Mercer, though.