Things just keep getting better for Dawson Mercer.
On Monday, Central Scouting released its mid-term rankings for the 2020 National Hockey League Entry Draft and it shows Mercer, an 18-year-old forward from Bay Roberts, ranked sixth overall among North American forwards and defencemen.
Goaltenders and European players are graded on separate ranking lists.
In the last couple of months, Mercer had been predicted as a first-round pick by many online and main-media prognosticators, but even accounting for the inclusion of netminders and Europeans, this might be the most optimistic seeding for Mercer, who was part of Canada’s gold medal-winning team at the most recent world junior hockey championship.
It was only this past fall that Central Scouting, the NHL’s in-house scouting combine, lifted Mercer to a preliminary ‘A’ ranking, which meant he was seen as a first-rounder.
Terry Ryan of Mount Pearl, taken eighth overall by the Montreal Canadians in 1995, is the highest-selected player from Newfoundland and Labrador in NHL draft history.
Mercer had 42 points (18G, 24A) in 26 games with the Quebec Major Junior Hockey League’s Drummondville Voltigeurs, but was recently traded to the Chicoutimi Sagueneens, seen as one of the top contenders for a QMJHL championship. He’s set to play his first game for Chicoutimi later this week, but not until after he suits up in the NHL-CHL Prospects game in Hamilton, Ont., on Thursday.