Dawson Mercer agreed to a three-year, entry-level contract with the New Jersey Devils on Thursday.
The 19-year-old forward, selected with the No. 18 pick of the 2020 NHL Draft, is the first of three Devils first-round picks to agree to a contract. Forward Alexander Holtz, the No. 7 choice, is playing for Djurgarden in the Swedish Hockey League, and defenseman Shakir Mukhamadullin, the No. 20 selection, is playing with Ufa in the Kontinental Hockey League.
Mercer scored seven points (four goals, three assists) in five games with Chicoutimi of the Quebec Major Junior Hockey League this season before leaving to play for Canada at the 2021 IIHF World Junior Championship, which starts Friday. Last season he scored 60 points (24 goals, 36 assists) in 42 QMJHL games with Drummondville and Chicoutimi, and helped Canada win the 2020 WJC.
Holtz (Sweden) and Mukhamadullin (Russia) also are playing at the 2021 World Junior Championship.