Category Archives: Justin Mercier

>Avalanche Sign Mercier

>Per the Colorado Avalanche website:

The Colorado Avalanche Hockey Club announced today that it has signed forward prospect Justin Mercier. Mercier, 22, spent the last four seasons at Miami University, where he helped lead the RedHawks to the 2009 NCAA championship game by totaling 29 points (14g/15a) in 40 games as a senior.

The 5-foot-11, 190-pound forward finished his collegiate career with 104 points (52g/52a) in 157 contests, becoming the first player in school history to record 100 career points and be a part of 100 victories. A native of Erie, Pa., Mercier was the Avalanche’s eighth selection (sixth round, 168th overall) in the 2005 Entry Draft.

This is a great signing for both the Avalanche and Mercier. Colorado had until August 15th to sign him and by all accounts, Justin got a very fair deal with the Avs. Reports said that Mercier and his agent felt that he was more valuable than the offer that Colorado had originally presented, but the negotiations remained cordial on both sides and a deal was done. While the details of the signing weren’t released, it will most likely be a standard three year entry-level conract that will see him play most of this year and possibly the next in Lake Erie. He adds to a strong group of winger prospects in the Avalanche system and with the youth movement in Colorado, we could possibly see Mercier, who joined Miami’s 100 point club this season, playing for the big club sooner, rather than later.

Link to the official announcement

>Awards Banquet Recap

>While I wasn’t able to attend the end of season banquet at the Shriver Center last night, I did receive several e-mails from people that did attend, so thanks for those. Here are a few notes from last night’s festivities, including which RedHawks took home which awards:

Blue Line Club Award: Gary Steffes

Rookie of the Year: Connor Knapp and Cody Reichard

Outstanding Offensive Player: Carter Camper

Outstanding Defensive Player: Kevin Roeder

Steve Cady Most Improved Player Award: Brandon Smith

Scholar Athlete Award: Michael Findorff, Bill Loupee, Alex Lacombe, Justin Mercier, Brian Kaufman, Kevin Roeder

Berry Family Outstanding Senior Award: Brian Kaufman

Jim Grant “7th Man” Award: MU Assistant Athletic Director Josh Fenton

Gary DeLonge Most Valuable Player Award: Carter Camper

– A banner raising ceremony looks to be in the works at the beginning of next season to honor the team’s accomplishments and participation in the Frozen Four.

– Former RedHawk defenseman Alec Martinez was said to be in attendance at last night’s banquet.

Thanks again to all who e-mailed with a recap!

>106

>…and another season of Miami hockey comes to a close. First and foremost, a big congratulations goes out to everyone involved with the hockey program. The coaches, equipment/training staff, media relations, off-ice officials, Cady Arena personnel, everyone…and especially…the players for being a part of something very, very special.

Going into this season, most expected and considered this a “rebuilding year.” With a great first half of the season, the team had a rough start to the second half and eventually missed a trip to post-season action at the Joe. They had the second best power-play and the best penalty kill in the CCHA. Considering the team had a young blueline, two freshman goaltenders, and a lot to replace offensively, making the NCAA tournament was a great reward for the squad and gave the younger players some great “big game” experience. The Frozen Four weekend was something very special to be a part of and although the end result was so heartbreaking, I for one am extremely proud of this team’s effort. They gave Boston a run for their money and it says a lot about where the program stands. Although the last minute of regulation will be fresh in the minds of many for quite some time, the underclassmen will build off of this experience and be even more hungry for a national title in the seasons to come.

It was hard, personally for me, to see our senior class go out the way they did. They should be proud to be a part of the winningest class in Miami hockey history, with 106 wins. This senior class was exceptional. They were the first class to be ranked number one in any sport, the first class to win an NCAA tournament game, the first to 30 wins in a season, the first to 100 total wins, the first to advance to the tournament all four years…and most importantly, the first class to ever reach the Frozen Four.

Without further adieu, here are the RedHawk seniors and their career stats:

2- Michael Findorff
Defenseman
41 Games Played
1 Goal
5 Assist
6 Points

10- Alex Lacombe
Center

64 Games Played
9 Goals
12 Assists
21 Points

15- Brian Kaufman
Forward
125 Games Played
30 Goals
54 Assists
84 Points

16- Justin Mercier
Forward

157 Games Played
52 Goals
52 Assists
104 Points

18- Ray Eichenlaub
Defenseman
145 Games Played
9 Goals
36 Assists
45 Points

24- Kevin Roeder
Defenseman

152 Games Played
5 Goals
31 Assists
36 Points

28- Bill Loupee
Forward

105 Games Played
8 Goals
14 Assists
22 Points

Thank you, seniors. Your contributions have helped pave the way to make Miami hockey one of the nation’s top programs. Some careers will continue in hockey, others, will not. Regardless, we wish you the best of luck in life. Miami will not forget your hard work and devotion to The Brotherhood.

**In a final tournament note, Kevin Roeder and Tommy Wingels were named to the All-Tournament Team.**

>A Promising Future for Weber, Mercier, Zatkoff

>Over at Hockey’s Future, they have released the 2008 Columbus Blue Jackets’ “System Audit,” as it’s called. RedHawk freshman defenseman Will Weber headlines the group of young Blue Jacket…”future” defenseman (and Goodness, don’t they need it right now.)

In the amateur ranks, the Jackets have a number of defensive prospects who may develop into NHL-caliber talents with more seasoning in either the NCAA, junior North American leagues or across the ocean. Headlining this group is 2007 second-round pick Will Weber, a lanky two-way rearguard still growing into his oversized 6’4 frame. While still several years removed from an NHL audition, Weber may well have the most talent below the NHL level among the organization’s defensive prospects. He’ll get a chance to further refine his game just a few hours down the road from Nationwide at developing collegiate powerhouse Miami University in Oxford, Ohio.

I’m looking forward to seeing more of Weber…offensively and defensively. In my opinion, he hasn’t shown much in this early season, but he definitely has the size and the ability to adapt to the college level and play “his game.” As a Blue Jackets fan, I’m very excited to watch him develop.

Also, Justin Mercier receives a mention among the Colorado Avalanche prospects:

Mercier, a sixth-round pick in the 2005 draft, plays a game that may adapt easily to the pros. He always competes hard on the forecheck and backcheck and is effective with the puck down low. He broke out last season with Miami University with 25 goals in 42 games and has four points in six games to date this season.

And finally, Jeff Zatkoff gets some love from the LA Kings:

Two other goaltenders that will be battling Bernier for the starting duties in Los Angeles every step of the way are Jeff Zatkoff and Jonathan Quick. Zatkoff, who is in his first professional season, does not have the athleticism of Bernier or Quick, but is a fundamentally sound goaltender. He might be the perfect fit as the back-up to Bernier in five years if he does not beat out Bernier as the starter or can be used in a trade to fill gaps in other areas. Which ever of the three that finds himself as the starter in net for Los Angeles will have earned it with the level of competition that there is in the system. The others may find solace in the arms of another organization.

>Much Expected from Mercier

>Thanks to laxmom for the heads up on this article, as the Colorado Avalanche have a great feature up on the team website about senior forward Justin Mercier. Here’s a short snippet:

During this, his senior season at Miami, Mercier is taking on more of a leadership role than ever before. While he’s not wearing a letter on his sweater to make that responsibility official, Mercier has taken the lessons he learned from previous leaders of the RedHawks and is trying to use them to help out a young squad.

“I think a lot of it had to do with the guys who came before me. I really looked up to Ryan Jones, Matt Christie and Andy Greene,” said the Erie, Pa., native. “I saw how those guys led and you just try to follow in their footsteps, lead by example and be good in the locker room. They showed me how to take the reins.”

Definitely worth checking out the rest. I expect big things from him this season…I can say in all honesty that Justin is one of the most exciting players I’ve ever watched…love his hustle with and without the puck.

>Wednesday Tidbits

>- Today’s Miami Memory is a Goggin classic. Alec Martinez’ OT goal against the Western Michigan Broncos to send the RedHawks to Detroit and close out Goggin Ice Arena. You can view it at this link. Listening to Dave Allen’s call of the final goal gives me the chills…boy, do I miss that place.

– Justin Mercier has been named to the Inside College Hockey preseason All-American third team. No other RedHawks were listed on either the first, second, third or rookie team. Yikes.

– Former RedHawk Joe Cooper, signed with the Toronto Marlies, has been assigned to the Reading Royals of the ECHL.

– CollegeHockeyNews has released their CCHA season preview. The CHN staffers have the RedHawks finishing in third place.

With two unproven netminders and a young and inexperienced defense, Miami will have a hard time closing out games in a grueling conference.

– Ohio State has some “pre-Miami” audio/video on prepping for the RedHawks this weekend. Here, they have an interview with Defenseman Shane Simms, Captain Zach Pelletier, and Head Coach John Markell. Check it out to see the Bucks’ take on playing one of their in-state rivals. Pelletier sounds pretty confident that OSU can handle the ‘Hawks come this weekend.

– The Buckeyes have also released their game notes for the weekend series. Those can be found at this link and a game preview from the Columbus Dispatch, can be found here.

– AND…one final note. Photos from the Have Fun Play Hockey clinic from Tuesday night have been posted. Check them out here.

>Mercier Makes CHN’s Second Team

>Justin Mercier has been named to the 2008-2009 College Hockey News Preseason Second Team. Here’s what CHN has to say about the senior forward:

F – Justin Mercier, Sr., Miami A speedy, talented player with a tremendous wrist shot. He scored the winning OT goal against Air Force in the first round of the NCAAs last season. He had 25 goals, second on the team behind Ryan Jones, but now we see how he does without some of those other departed stars around him. Led Miami forwards with a plus-22 a year ago.

I couldn’t agree more. Speedy and talented are two words that define the Erie, Pennsylvania native. I thought he showed great hustle on Saturday night vs. Ryerson and definitely expect him to have an impressive season.

You can view the rest of the list and some players to watch by clicking here.

>RedHawks Go to Camp

>As NHL development camps continue to open and close in the next week, the rosters are being released and yes, a few RedHawks, or in some cases, former RedHakws, are included. Even if camps have already been completed, I’ll keep updating the list of names as I come across more of the rosters. Enjoy!

Chicago Blackhawks
(F) Nathan Davis-, 6’1, 193, Rocky River, Ohio (2005 Draft, 113th Overall)

Colorado Avalanche
(F) Justin Mercier- 5’11, 190, Erie, Pennsylvania (2005 Draft, 168th Overall)

Columbus Blue Jackets
(D) Will Weber- 6’4, 205, Gaylord, Michigan (2007 Draft, 53rd Overall)

Los Angeles Kings
(D) Alec Martinez- 6’0, 188, Rochester Hills, Michigan (2007 Draft, 95th Overall)
(G) Jeff Zatkoff- 6’1, 180, Chesterfield, Michigan (2006 Draft, 74th Overall)

Minnesota Wild
(F) Brian Kaufman- 6’4, 205, Shoreview, Minnesota (Invitee)

Ottawa Senators
(D) Mitch Ganzak- 5’11, 205, Redford, Michigan (Invitee)

St. Louis Blues
(G) Charlie Effinger- 6’1, 190, Belleville, Illinois (Invitee)