(RAPID CITY, SD) – The Rapid City Rush announced today that forward Pierre-Luc Mercier has been signed to a contract for the 2018-19 ECHL season.
At the end of the 2017-18 ECHL season, the Rush traded veteran forward Kenton Miller to the Adirondack Thunder in exchange for Andrew Radjenovic and future considerations. Both teams completed the deal earlier this offseason, resulting in the Rush receiving Pierre-Luc Mercier to complete the transaction.
Mercier just completed his rookie season of professional hockey, all spent with the ECHL’s Adirondack Thunder. The 6’1”, 185-pound forward played in all but four regular season games, tabulating totals of 17 goals, 25 assists, and 42 points in 68 games, and added another 4 assists in 14 Kelly Cup Playoff games. His season ended in the Eastern Conference Finals against the Florida Everblades, who finished as the runner-up to the two-time champion archrival Colorado Eagles.
“Talking to Coach Tetrault, he is very excited to have me on board this season, and I’m excited to be a part of his team as well. This will be a good chance for me to have a big role,” Mercier said of joining the Rush. “Being a rookie last season, I definitely learned a lot. For one, it’s a long season, full of ups and downs, so you learn to stay with the process and results will come. As a player, I bring an all-around game to the team. I’ll be on both power play and penalty kill, and as a pass-first kind of player, I can play any role. I think we’re going to have a great team. Camp will be competitive, considering we’re unaffiliated, so everyone will play hard for a spot. It should be really fun to see how it all plays out, and see what we have when October 12th in Utah comes around.”
“I’m very excited that Pierre-Luc is joining us after the trade last season. He is a young, talented forward that will make us that much better up front,” Rush Head Coach Daniel Tetrault said of Mercier. “There are two factors regarding Pierre-Luc that stand out to me. First off, he scored 17 goals as a rookie, which speaks to his ability to adjust to the professional game and expand his already brilliant hockey sense. Secondly, he is strong on the puck, and his physical nature, coupled with his great skating ability, make him a threat at all three forward positions. I’m looking forward to evaluating him in training camp in the next three weeks.”
A native of Verdun, Quebec, Mercier played four seasons of college hockey with Bowling Green State University in the NCAA before beginning his professional career. With the Falcons, he compiled career totals of 22 goals, 54 assists, and 76 points in 157 games. His best collegiate season came in his sophomore campaign, when he set his personal highs in all offensive categories with 8 goals and 17 assists for 25 points in 38 games.