The Leafs’ salary cap situation is going to be tight for the foreseeable future, and there probably isn’t going to be much money to go around for the bottom half of the lineup. Being able to identify cost effective options, including players on entry level contracts will be paramount for Kyle Dubas as he looks to insulate his talented core with reliable depth pieces. Dawson Mercer of the Chicoutimi Sagueneens in the QMJHL is one of the most intelligent and reliable players in this draft, but also boasts enough offensive ability to have climbed all the way up into the middle of the first round in most draft rankings.
Mercer started last year with Drummondville and produced at an impressive rate with 42 points in 26 games. That production, along with his smarts and work ethic, helped earn him a spot on Canada’s World Junior roster. He was held off the score sheet in the tournament, but even making the team and earning minutes on the fourth line was notable for a first-year draft eligible player. Mercer was traded to Chicoutimi following the WJC and his pace slowed as he adjusted to his new surroundings, finishing with 18 points in 16 games …
Author: Nick Richard / The Leafs Nation