His number's up: Bay Roberts minor hockey retiring Dawson Mercer's No. 14

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New Jersey Devils centre Dawson Mercer reacts after scoring a goal against the New York Islanders during the third period on Nov. 11 in Newark, N.J. The Devils won 4-0. (AP - image credit)
New Jersey Devils centre Dawson Mercer reacts after scoring a goal against the New York Islanders during the third period on Nov. 11 in Newark, N.J. The Devils won 4-0. (AP - image credit)

While Dawson Mercer now wears No. 18 for the New Jersey Devils in the National Hockey League, the number he wore as a young player will be retired in his hometown.

The Town of Bay Roberts and the Bay Arena Minor Hockey Association will retire No. 14 during a ceremony Thursday.

"It's pretty special, obviously. No. 14 was my childhood number. That's where I grew up, that's where I learned to play," Mercer said from New Jersey.

"They've supported me all the way through my career, ever since I was little, moving away to junior [hockey] and now New Jersey, so it's pretty special to be the first one there to have my number retired and I can't wait to see it when I go home."

Ted Dillon
Ted Dillon

Mercer's next visit to Bay Roberts will likely come this summer, after his successful first season in the NHL.

The 20-year-old said he wasn't sure what to expect coming into training camp at the beginning of the season, but he made the NHL roster out of camp and has played in all the Devils' games this season so far.

In those 76 games, Mercer has put up 41 points, which puts him seventh in scoring among first-year players.

"It's a lot of hockey, but that's what I grew up doing. That's what I love and it's pretty cool," Mercer said.

"It's been fun for me, I've enjoyed it all the time and [it's] a great team, and we're a young group so it's looking good for us."

He said he's enjoyed the challenge of matching up against the best hockey players in the world and getting to travel around North America — particularly to the warmer parts of the U.S., like Florida and California.

Mercer's number will be retired during the opening ceremonies of the Under-15 A provincial tournament, and he encouraged those young players to keep working toward their dreams.

"My dream was to play in the NHL and I never let that get away from me, and fortunately mine came true," he said.

"I think if you just give yourself the best chance and go for it, you won't regret it if it happens or not."

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