Every week leading up to October 13, the Rookie Round-Up will give ECHL fans the chance to get to know a rookie who has signed with an ECHL team for the 2017-18 season. This week, the ECHL spoke with Pierre-Luc Mercier of the Adirondack Thunder. He’s eagerly awaiting and preparing for his first professional game – get to know him in this Q&A!
Name: Pierre-Luc Mercier
Hometown: Verdun, Quebec
ECHL Team: Adirondack Thunder
2016-17 Team: Bowling Green State University (40 gp, 6g, 13a, 19 pts.)
ECHL: What should Thunder fans know about you?
Pierre-Luc Mercier: I'm a fun guy to be around. On the ice, I like to think I'm a skilled guy with some edge and toughness to my game. I'm an all-around player who leaves everything out on the ice on a nightly basis.
ECHL: Why did you decide to sign in Adirondack?
PLM: It's close to home (less than three hours) and I haven't played this close in a long time so that was appealing to me. Everyone I talked to with the organization was positive and really excited about the season. I can't wait to get to town and get the season started.
ECHL: What are you most looking forward to in your first season of professional hockey?
PLM: Mainly the opportunity to adjust to a new style of play. In college, it's more of a grinding-type style so I am looking forward to playing more of an up-tempo game where I can be more skilled, possess the puck and make some crisp passes. I'm excited for that.
ECHL: What is the most memorable moment of your hockey career to this point?
PLM: Just the opportunity to play some big games in front of some big crowds. My freshman or sophomore year at Bowling Green, we played at Ohio State and the arena was full, so that really gets you fired up as a player to play in front of a lot of people. In juniors, I won a championship, and that was a great feeling well. Anytime you can lift a cup at the end of the season with your teammates is a great memory.
ECHL: Who do you model your game after?
PLM: Someone like Alex Burrows, a grinder with some skill. About five or six years ago I would watch him all the time. He's not the biggest guy in the world, but he isn't afraid to throw the body around and he has a good bit of skill in his game as well.
ECHL: How have you been spending your summer?
PLM: Mainly just working out and getting ready for the start of the season. My focus is to be the best player I can be at the start of training camp so I've really set my mind to working out and training as much as I can this summer.
ECHL: Do you know any of your new Thunder teammates?
PLM: No, I'm going in totally blind. I've never played with anyone on the team and I don't think I've played against anyone either. But, my radio guy in college just got hired as their broadcaster. He texted me a few weeks ago saying he had an interview then called me last week to say he got the job, so at least I'll know someone there.