Before joining the USNTDP, Justin Mercier played the 2003-04 season for the now defunct St. Louis Heartland Eagles of the USHL. He finished the year with a total of 21 points (12 goals, 9 assists) in 60 games played, which left him ranked eighth in scoring for that team. He played the 2004-05 season, his first, with the U-18 team. He also joined the U.S. National team at the Five Nations Tournament in Tjorn, Sweden where he took home gold. He also played for the gold medal-winning USA team at the Compuware Four Nations Tournament in Ann Arbor, Michigan. He wrapped up his career with USA Hockey, when he appeared on the U.S. squad that swept the 2005 World U-18 IIHF Championships for gold once again.
2005-06: Freshman at University of Miami-Ohio.
2006-07: 40 games with the Miami-Ohio RedHawks (CCHA), the center tallied 10 goals and 25 points, personal bests for Mercier. He also racked up 59 penalty minutes, another career-high for the sophomore.
2007-08: A junior with Miami-Ohio (CCHA), Mercier potted a career-high 25 goals (T-1st in NCAA with seven game-winners) and 40 points in 42 games this season.
2008-09: Mercier finished his collegiate career this season, appearing in 40 games with Miami University (Ohio) (CCHA). He tallied 14 goals and 29 points as a senior, his second best total with the RedHawks. MU was defeated by Boston University in the NCAA Frozen Four final.
2009-10: Mercier made his NHL debut in December and appeared in nine games for the Avalanche. He scored 1 goal with 1 assist and was +2 while averaging seven minutes of ice time. In 64 games with AHL Lake Erie he scored 13 goals with 10 assists and was an even plus/minus with 54 PMs.
2010-11: Mercier skated in all 80 games for AHL Lake Erie in his second pro season. The Monsters reached the AHL playoffs after finishing second in the North Division and Mercier scored 12 goals with 16 assists and was -10 with 66 PMs. Mercier and veteran Ben Walter shared the team lead with five points each in the seven game playoff series with Manitoba, both scoring 3 goals with 2 assists. Mercier was re-signed to a one-year contract by Colorado in June 2011.
Mercier will never be a flashy player, but he is a good skater and is particularly valuable for his play without the puck. A versatile forward who can play the pivot or wing positions, Mercier can play in any scenario.
Mercier will likely see NHL duty as a third or fourth line shutdown player and can also fill the role of a penalty-kill specialist. He could challenge for a position with the Avalanche in 2011-12, but might be better suited for the AHL.