Michael currently plays for the Kings’ American Hockey League affiliate the Manchester Monarchs. He is in his first full year with the Monarchs and in 76 regular season games this season as a rookie Michael scored 22 goals and added 23 assists for 45 points. With his 45 points Michael ranked seventh in that category and his 22 goals was tied for second amongst first year players. The Monarchs play Game 4 against the Portland Pirates on Thursday night.
His Back Story:
Michael, who is a winger, was selected by the Kings in the fourth round (110th overall) of the 2011 NHL Entry Draft. He is from Park Ridge, Illinois, and played his college hockey at the University of Wisconsin.
What I Know About Him:
Michael has good size and plays a heavy style of hockey. In his time at Wisconsin he was 2nd Team All American and was also a 1st Team All Big 10 player. With his size and ability to possess the puck, I would say that he “fits the mold” of a Kings player. His numbers in Manchester also show that he has transitioned well into the pro game.
Shoots – Left
Height – 6-2
Weight – 224
Age – 22
Other Teams – U.S. National Under-18 Team (NAHL); U.S. National Development Team
Kings Amateur Scout (United States) Tony Gasparini said the following about Mersch: “Michael finished the regular season very strong. His instincts in the offensive zone give him the ability to create a lot. Michael started slow but really picked it up. He also provides a great net front presence with exceptional hand eye coordination to get his stick on pucks. He finds the areas that help him find success.”
And The Award Goes To:
Mersch was honored this season by the AHL. In March he was named AHL Rookie of the Month.
Going Forward – My Opinion:
Michael will have to continue to work at the pace he plays the game in order to succeed at the next level -- the NHL. In tight areas he can improve on his foot speed in order to buy himself more time and space to attack and create. His continued focus on play without the puck will help him gain trust from the coaches and his teammates.
Daryl Evans has called Kings games on the radio for the club on a full-time basis since 1999. The former Kings forward also contributes to the Kings Development Department and takes to the ice each summer with some of the younger players in our organization.