By Matt Stefano
Welcome to week No. 3 of Thunderbirds Turnback Tuesday!
Last week on Tuesday, April 14th, we went all the way back to 2003-2005 when the Thunderbirds had local forward Matt Dias.
But in today’s edition, we’ve decided to look back at a defenceman that joined the Thunderbirds in the 2013-2014 season, before going on to have a three-year career in the Ontario Hockey League.
In today’s edition of Thunderbirds Turnback Tuesday, we will feature former Thunderbird defenceman Medric Mercier.
After being drafted in the 7th round (138th overall) by the Soo Greyhounds in the 2012 Ontario Hockey League Priority Selection, Ottawa, Ontario native Medric Mercier then joined the Soo Thunderbirds for the 2013-2014 season.
The 2013-2014 season was a start from scratch season behind the bench, as the Thunderbirds brought in a new head coach (Jordan Smith) and two new assistant coaches (Ryan Maunu and Marty Fortino).
In 2013-2014, Mercier scored 4 times and set up 6 others in 31 regular season games, helping the Soo to a 48 win and 99 point season.
That season, the Thunderbirds also set the Northern Ontario Junior Hockey League record for most wins and points in a regular season.
The Thunderbird defenceman also played a pair of games with the Soo Greyhounds during the 2013-2014 season, where he recorded one assist.
Mercier, who helped the Thunderbirds finish first in the Canadian Junior Hockey League rankings, then helped the Thunderbirds all the way to the Northern Ontario Junior Hockey League final for the third straight year, where they lost to the Kirkland Lake Gold Miners in six games.
During the 2014 postseason, Mercier led all thunderbird defencemen in goals (4) and set up 2 others in 14 games.
Following his first and only season with the Thunderbirds, the Ottawa, Ontario native then ended up getting a full time roster spot with the Soo Greyhounds in 2014-2015.
In his first season in the Ontario Hockey League, Mercier scored 4 times and set up 10 others in 46 regular season games, helping the Soo Greyhounds to a 54 win and 110 point season, which turned out to be their best regular season in franchise history at that time.
That year, the Hounds also finished in first place in the Canadian Hockey League rankings.
In his second season with the Hounds in 2015-2016, Mercier scored 3 times and set up 18 others in 63 regular season games.
Despite finishing in seventh place in the Ontario Hockey League’s Western Conference that season, Mercier still helped the Hounds to the Western Conference semi-final, where they lost to the Erie Otters in five games.
In his third and final Ontario Hockey League season in 2016-2017, Mercier had 1 goal and 3 assists in 9 games with the Soo Greyhounds, before being traded to the Oshawa Generals for the remainder of the season, where he notched 21 goals and 48 points in 58 regular season games.
That season, the former Thunderbird defenceman also led all Ontario Hockey League blueliners in goals (22).
Mercier, who scored 21 goals as a member of the Generals, became the first General defenceman to score 20 goals in a regular season since Jim Baxter did back in 1998-1999.
Following his three-year career in the Ontario Hockey league, the former Thunderbird defenceman then attended Colombus Blue Jackets training camp as a free agent during the summer of 2017, before going on to play hockey with the University of Ottawa.
(Photo credit to Jim Egan).