KITCHENER – The Kitchener Rangers have added another weapon up front.
The Blueshirts signed third-round pick Cameron Mercer to an Ontario Hockey League standard player deal on Wednesday, making it the club’s third decision this month.
Last week, the team signed 2021 first-round draft pick Carson Rehkopf, a day after the team acquired surplus defenseman Justin Nolet in a trade with the Sarnia Sting for a conditional 15th-round pick in the draft.
Mercer, a six-foot, 182-pound center, has eight goals and a dozen assists in 35 games for the Barrie Colts Under-16 team in 2019-20, while adding 13 points in 11 playoff games .
“He’s a guy we had pretty high up (in the team’s draft standings),” Rangers general manager and head coach Mike McKenzie said after the OHL draft. “We really liked his game when we saw him live a few times. He has a good shot and is a good passer.
“He played last year with the Barrie minor midget as a minor which is a bit unique and doesn’t happen that often.
Kitchener has 14 forwards under contract for the upcoming season, including five – Mercer, Rehkopf, Andrew LeBlanc, Mike Swick and Mitchell Martin – who have never played a game in the OHL, while winger Matt Sop has never played a game in the OHL. only played two.
That’s a lot of talented players battling for ice time, but McKenzie isn’t concerned.
“Some of these guys haven’t played for a long time so there are a lot of strangers right now with a lot of players,” he said. “This thing works by itself when the guys get to camp. Usually these decisions are easy because players make them while playing on their rink. It will be fun to see these guys on the ice.
Rangers training camp begins Sept. 4 and the regular season begins Oct. 8 at the Aud vs. the Guelph Storm.