Former Wisconsin winger and 2011 fourth round draft pick Michael Mersch has signed with the Los Angeles Kings, according to LA Kings PR:
Kings sign prospects Nic Dowd and Michael Mersch to entry level contracts— LAKingsPR (@LAKingsPR) April 1, 2014
After electing to return for his senior season, Mersch, a First-Team All-Big Ten selection, produced a stellar campaign for the Badgers, netting a Big Ten-leading 22 goals to go along with 35 points in 37 games. He played a big tole in Wisconsin winning the inaugural Big Ten Tournament championship, scoring both goals in the Badgers' 2-0 win over Penn State in the Big Ten semifinals.
The 6-1, 225 lbs., forward had his second-straight 20-goal season in 2013-14, becoming the first UW two-time 20-goal scorer since the 2005-06 season.
The Park Ridge, Ill., native leaves Madison as one of Wisconsin's most prodigious goal scorers as his 67 career goals rank No. 23 all-time at UW. He was at his most lethal on the power play, where he scored 10 times this year, which paced the Big Ten and tied for fifth in the country.
Mersch was a durable player for Wisconsin, appearing in every game over his four-year career after making the jump from the U.S. National Development Program. His college career came to an end in the first round of the NCAA Tournament when the No. 1-seeded Badgers were upended by North Dakota.
While he displayed elite goal-scoring ability at the NCAA level, Mersch needs to develop his skating, which was his primary weakness in college, to translate that to the pro game. His power play prowess and good size will afford him the opportunity to showcase himself at the pro level and he has the potential to develop into a solid power forward.
Mersch ranked No. 70 in our NCAA Top 100 NHL Prospects rankings.