The New Jersey Devils didn’t have much to cheer about this season as they didn’t do a lot of winning. For some reason, the injury bug hit them hard. They also had a bout with COVID-19 right in the middle of this season. However, Dawson Mercer was really good all year long.
He was the only player on the team to skate in all 82 games this season. That is incredibly impressive for a 20-year-old rookie trying to make his way in the league. In those 82 games, Mercer had 17 goals and 25 assists for 42 points in 82 games. That is not bad at all.
On Tuesday night, the NHL Awards took place. The most intriguing award of the night had to be the Calder Trophy as there were about 10 rookies who were amazing this year. Mercer was one of them.
He received one 4th place vote and three fifth-place votes. This tied him with Timothy Liljegren for 11th place. Of course, Moritz Seider of the Detroit Red Wings won the award while Trevor Zegras of the Anaheim Ducks came in second and Michael Bunting of the Toronto Maple Leafs came in third. It was a really great year for rookies all around the league.
The New Jersey Devils were lucky to have Dawson Mercer in 2021-22.
Now, it is time for Dawson Mercer to take that next step. Having 42 points in 82 games as a teenager is no joke. As he continues to develop, he is sure to become an impact player at the NHL level. In fact, he might even be able to become a star player.
With studs like Jack Hughes, Nico Hischier, and Jesper Bratt up front, Mercer could fit right in even more than he already has. The sky is the limit for this group as we started to see at the end of the 2021-22 season. The fact that they will get better is scary for the rest of the league.
Mercer has an extremely bright future. Having 17 goals is really nice for the kid. With these numbers so soon, he should be able to eclipse 20 in short order and 30 is on the table. Having the 25 assists is also nice as he has shown the ability to make others around him better.
He is going to get better ice with better linemates in 2022-23 which will make him an even more prolific player. It was really nice to see him get some kind of recognition at the NHL Awards as he really deserves it. Big things are coming for him in the coming years.