Mercer, a 16-year-old Pasadena native who played at Athol Murray College of Notre Dame the past two winters, is eligible for the Quebec Major Junior Hockey League Entry Draft being held June 8 at the Georges-Vézina Centre in Chicoutimi.
Mercer is not listed among the prospects expected to go in the first 12 rounds, but then again there are dozens of more players in the same boat with hopes of somebody believing in them enough to take a chance by using a pick.
Mercer is upset that he didn’t get a chance to showcase his skillset to the QMJHL scouts on a big stage a few weeks ago that would have given him such great exposure.
He wasn’t successful in being named to the Newfoundland and Labrador U16 team that participated in the Gatorade Excellence Challenge Gold Cup last month. The tournament is a showcase event whereby 120 of the top prospects for this year’s entry draft were divided into six different teams from Hockey Canada branches on the league’s territory.
He felt he was the better goalie at the tryout camp.
Playing out west for the past two years, Mercer knows Quebec scouts seldom make a trip out to Saskatchewan to check out talent because of numbers and costs so exposure at the Gold Cup would have been his chance to show he’s capable of playing at the Q level.
“It bothers me because I know if I was on Team NL I would be top six rounds,” he said.
He hasn’t had any calls from any teams in the Q. He doesn’t really think he will hear his name called, but he’s just going to see what happens and figures there’s always next year if it don’t happen the first time around.
He’s committed to suiting up for the Boston Bandits of the United States Premier Hockey League, a setup similar to the major midget program at home, when next season rolls around.
His two years at Notre Dame were worth every early morning rise and late night study sessions. He grew as a person, learned how to fend for himself and has no doubt he’s a better goalie than when he went west.
A new chapter begins.
He’s determined to show he has a knack for stopping pucks.
It’s just a matter of somebody else believing in him now so he will keep working hard to see what the journey brings next.