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New Jersey Devils Prospect Update: 3/10/20

The 23rd week of the 2019-20 New Jersey Devils prospect update is highlighted by Ty Smith’s insane production, Graeme Clarke continuing his impressive return for the Ottawa 67’s, Matt Hellickson’s season ending, and the Devils Russian based prospects playing in their playoff series. Let’s take a look at how each prospect performed over the past month.

QMJHL

Xavier Bernard had an assist, +1, 6 PIM, and 6 shots across 2 games last week. He now has a goal and 16 assists in 29 games with a stacked Sherbrooke team.

OHL

Mitchell Hoelscher had a SH goal, 3 assists, +5, 7 shots, and won 58.06% of his faceoffs across 2 games last week. He has been quite the threat in short handed situations with 4 SH goals and 4 SH assists this season.

Nikita Okhotyuk was a +3 with 4 PIM and 6 shots across 2 games last week.

Graeme Clarke had a goal, 2 assists, +3, and 12 shots across 2 games last week. All of his points came against Barrie on Saturday.

Kevin Bahl had 2 assists (1 EV, 1 PP), +3, 6 PIM, and 2 shots across 2 games last week.

Michael Vukojevic had a goal, -4, and 7 shots across 3 games last week.

WHL

Ty Smith continues to lead the way for Spokane. Last week he had 2 goals, 5 assists (3 EV, 2 PP), +5, 2 PIM, and 14 shots across 3 games. His current point streak stretches 5 games with 7 goals and 10 assists. You can check out his most recent goals below:

Nolan Foote continues to be out with a lower body injury. He is supposed to return before the end of Kelowna’s regular season so hopefully we see him back in action soon.

NCAA

Please note that all team rankings are reflective of their seedings in their respective conference tournaments.

Reilly Walsh had a big weekend to help #5 Harvard sweep #12 St. Lawrence in 2 games in the 1st Round of the ECAC Tournament. Walsh had 2 PP goals, 2 assists, +1, and 8 shots in the series. Harvard will take on #4 RPI in the Quarterfinals this weekend. You can check out his goals below:

Matt Hellickson saw his season come to an end as #5 Notre Dame lost their Big Ten Quarterfinals series 2-1 to #4 Minnesota. Hellickson was a -1 with 2 PIM and 3 shots across the 3 games. Notre Dame finishes with a disappointing 15-15-7 record. Hellickson saw an increase in ice time across all situations as a top pairing defenseman for the team. He just completed his junior season and could turn pro if the Devils want to sign him right now, though I wouldn’t be surprised to see him back for his senior season in 2020-21. The Devils control his rights until August 15, 2021 as he was a 7th round pick in the 2017 draft. He has been developing steadily with Notre Dame and I think it would be best for him to continue to play large minutes another season for the team as he continues to develop at both ends of the rink. He turns 22 on March 21 so there isn’t a rush to get him into pro hockey just yet. Sure, the Devils could risk him to the free agent market should he not sign after his senior season but I don’t think he projects as a prospect with enough upside to worry about that happening. Another year of college hockey seems like a good situation for all parties involved.

Aarne Talvitie and #1 Penn State will take on #4 Minnesota in a Big Ten Semifinal on Saturday. It will be their first game action since 2/22 so we’ll see if they are rusty or not.

Tyce Thompson had an even rating, 3 shots, and won 6/10 faceoffs in a loss to Maine last Friday. Patrick Moynihan had an even rating and 3 shots. Providence is the #8 seed in the Hockey East Tournament and will take on #1 Boston College in the Quarterfinals this weekend.

Case McCarthy made his return to the Boston University line up after missing a pair of games due to injury. In a weekend split to Northeastern, McCarthy had an even rating, 2 PIM, and 2 shots. Boston University is the #6 seed in the Hockey East Tournament and will take on #3 UMass Lowell in the Quarterfinals this weekend.

USHL

Akira Schmid didn’t play or dress in either of Sioux City’s games this past week. He now hasn’t played in 8 straight games and hasn’t dressed in 6 straight games.

Cole Brady had a busy but successful week for Fargo. On Friday he made 14 saves on 15 shots in a victory over Sioux Falls. He followed that up with 18 saves on 20 shots in regulation and stopped all 4 shots he faced in a shootout victory over Sioux Falls. On Sunday he made 22 saves on 26 shots in a victory over Omaha. He has helped Fargo climb to 3rd in the Western Conference, just 2 points behind Omaha.

On Wednesday, Arizona State officially announced their 2020 signing class which includes Brady. Here is what head coach Greg Powers had to say about Brady:

”Cole is a special talent. He’s a big and very cerebral goaltender,” said head coach Greg Powers. “He’s developed a very high compete level over three years of junior hockey and is ready to come to ASU and really add to our goaltending group with Evan and Justin. He’s a great teammate and loves to win. He’s been committed to us for a long time and we’re thrilled he’s finally coming to Tempe.”

Russia

VHL/MHL

Yegor Zaitsev had an assist, even rating, 4 PIM, and a shot while averaging 18:17 per game across 3 games last week. #4 Dynamo Moscow is currently tied 2-2 with #5 Spartak Moscow in their Western Conference Quarterfinals series.

Daniil Misyul remains out of the line up since suffering an injury on 2/3. #6 Lokomotiv Yaroslavl is currently trailing #3 Jokerit 3-2 in their Western Conference Quarterfinals series.

Arseni Gritsyuk had a goal, +1, and 5 shots in 21:15 in Omskie Yastreby’s opening playoff game on Monday. Omskie Yastreby is the #2 seed in the Eastern Conference and is out to a 1-0 lead over #7 Mamonty Ugry in the Quarterfinals.

Finland & Sweden

Eetu Pakkila had an even rating, 2 PIM, and 8 shots while averaging 13:00 per game across 2 games last week.

Nikola Pasic was a -2 with 2 shots and average ice time of 14:21 per game across his final 2 games of the regular season. Pasic ended the regular season leading all U20 players in the Allsvenskan in scoring with 35 points in 45 games. BIK Karlskoga finishes 4th in the regular season standings and will advance to the Allsvenskan playoffs.

Just to note how the Allsvenskan post-season works and how it affects promotion to the SHL. The top 2 teams in the regular season advance directly to the Finals where they play a best of 5 series where the winner will advance directly to the SHL Qualifiers. The 3rd through 8th place teams play in the Allsvenskan playoffs, a single round-robin tournament, where the teams that finishes first advances to the playoff to the SHL qualifiers. This playoff pits the the winning team from the Allsvenskan Playoffs against the losing team from the Allsvenskan Finals in a best of 3 series. The winner of that joins the winner of the Allsvenskan Final as they take on the bottom 2 teams from the SHL. The Allsvenskan Final winner takes on the 14th place SHL team while the other Allsvenskan team takes on the 13th place SHL team. These are best of 7 series which determine which teams play in the SHL the following season.

Your Take

Which prospects stood out to you this week? What did you think of Matt Hellickson’s junior season at Notre Dame? Leave your comments below and thank you for reading!

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