Ontario Reign

Fantasy Summary

Big power forward who has produced good numbers in the AHL but hasn’t been able to earn a full-time NHL job yet because of his skating.


Observations

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July 2018 – The Dallas Stars have signed Mersch to a two-year, two-way contract.  Jokke Nevalainen

Oct 2017 – Michael Mersch signed a one year, two-way contract this summer. After a mediocre training camp, he clearer waivers on his way back down to the Ontario Reign. He continues to sit on the bubble between the NHL and AHL, as his skating need to improve if he wants to play with the big club full time. At 25, this once promising prospect is running out of time to prove he is a full-time NHLer. – Jamie Barber

January 2016 – Mersch was one of the final cuts for the Kings after a strong preseason. This season he scored 21 points in the first 31 AHL games (0.68 points per game) playing on the top line. Mersch suffered an injury to his knee on January 14th in a game against Bakersfield. The knee injury is expected to keep him out of the Reign lineup until mid-to-late February.  When healthy, Mersch has been one of the Reign’s best players, and he continues to make a case to play in the NHL.  It will be interesting to see what the Kings do with Mersch at season’s end, as he will be an RFA, and could also be available as part of the expansion draft (if he isn’t protected). Philip Kamhi

September 2016 – Mersch had a spectacular season with the Reign, and Kings’ fans should expect him to be in with the Kings on opening night. However, things are more complicated than that, as the Kings already have 15 other forwards signed, and Mersch is waiver exempt. Although he showed only flashes of his skill in his 17 games with the Kings last season, his 32 NHLe (NHL equivalent points) was third out of all Kings’ prospects. The big question for Mersch will be where he fits in on this team, and if he can keep coach Sutter satisfied enough with his play (especially his speed and breakouts) to earn minutes. While it’s unlikely that he would start with a spot in a top six role this upcoming season, he could find himself getting minutes if injuries strike the Kings. Philip Kamhi

January 2016 – In early December, Mersch left the Reign for his first cup of coffee with the Kings, following a team-leading 15 points (12 goals and three assists) in 19 games. In 15 games with the Kings in December and January, he primarily played fourth-line minutes (TOI/G 10:40) without much power-play time. Mersch did show some flashes of skill and his strong ability to get the puck to the net, despite not posting many points (one goal and two assists) in this first callup. Since returning to the Reign in mid-January, he has 10 points in nine games. Mersch will likely return to the Kings by the trade deadline. Philip Kamhi

October 2015 – Mersch is banging on the NHL door, as he’s been the Reign’s most trusted forward in every zone and situation so far this season. However, the question of his offensive ceiling remains; a lot of the slick moves in tight which he employs in the AHL may not cut it at a higher level. But right now, he appears to have little left to prove in Ontario. Sheng Peng

September 2015 – Mersch has been the surprise of LA’s training camp. While the big winger is still not likely to kick off the season in the NHL, he’s on the way to proving that his powerful postseason performance last spring (13 goals in 18 games) was no fluke. His nose for the net and creativity in tight spaces has been on ample display, though he still needs to improve his pace. There’s a real possibility that he’ll start his Ontario campaign without last year’s star linemates Jordan Weal and Brian O’Neill; that will be a stiff test for the former Badger. Sheng Peng

June 2015 – Mersch has continued his end-of-regular season hot streak (11 goals in his last 15) well into the postseason, emerging as one of Manchester’s top scorers. The 6-2 right winger owns the size and grit that Los Angeles craves but has flashed better hands and offensive sense than expected. He will probably make his NHL debut at some point in the 2015-16 season, so we’ll see how real his late-season emergence is soon enough. Sheng Peng

June 2014 – Mersch’s 2012-13 numbers with the Wisconsin Badgers raised eyebrows as he led his National Champion team in goals scored. In 2013-14 all he did was improve on his point-per-game average. He netted just one fewer goal despite appearing in five fewer games. He played in four playoff games for the Manchester Monarchs with one assist to show for it. In April, he signed a three-year deal with the Kings but has some points to work on according to coaches and scouts. The biggest is his skating and taking more shots. His play can be almost too safe at times as he looks to pass first. He is a big guy and coaches want to see him use that more to his advantage. Mersch led the Big-Ten in power-play goals and was tied for first in total goals scored. His play landed him First Team Big-Ten honors.

Attributes
Fantasy Upside 4.5
NHL Certainty 3.5
Country USA
Position LW
Roster Type Minors
Shoot/Glove Left
Date of Birth October 2, 1992
Height 6‘2”
Weight 214 lbs
Drafted 2011 Round 4; Overall: 110

Stats

 Season Team League GP G A TP PIM      Playoffs GP G A TP PIM 
 2005-2006 Windy City Storm 13U AAAT1EHL 13U28 13 1023 26|        
 2006-2007 Team Illinois 14U AAAT1EHL 14U31 17 1431 12|        
 2007-2008 Team Illinois 16U AAA16U AAA54 22 2749 46|        
  Team Illinois 16U AAAT1EHL 16U31 13 1629 46|        
 2008-2009 U.S. National U17 TeamUSDP23 12 618 8|        
  U.S. National U18 TeamNAHL42 15 1328 50|Playoffs9 5 27
  USA U17WHC-176 4 26 0|