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12/31 New Jersey Devils Prospect Links & Notes

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Some links/quotes to pass along as we wait for the Devils/Thrashers matchup tonight.

Jon Merrill:  Mike Morreale had this report from the World Junior Championships about Jon Merrill where coach Keith Allain called Merrill a ‘rock.'

Kevin Allen of the USA Today had some positive words to throw Merrill's way, along with a nice player comparison from USA Hockey assistant executive director Jim Johannson.

Scott Wedgewood: In an interview with  Plymouth Whalers coach Mike Vellucci spoke to the Detroit Free Press on Scott Wedgewood:

"Wedgewood's been phenomenal. I think he's the best goalie in the league right now. We've been grooming him for this. He came here as a 16-year-old to learn and then last year he committed himself to get in better shape. He had great games for us last year when he played, and it culminated in the big game against Windsor and all the NHL guys were here and we lose that game, but he (faced) 70 shots and everybody talked about him and this year he came back in great shape.

Joe Faust: Wisconsin coach Mike Eaves spoke to the media this past Monday and provided some reasons why Freshman Joe Faust hasn't played that often, from the Wisconsin Men's Hockey Website:

Well, Joe's played six games. He's very much aware that these are big games for his growth pattern. And, Joe iss a tremendous young man and wants to do well. And he's probably too hard on himself. And when he, when things don't go the way he wants, he grips his stick a little tighter. And that's part of his growth. Even in practice, because you can read his body language when he doesn't make a pass that's just right. Oh, he gets frustrated at himself. Got to let that go. Get ready for the next pass. So his process, if anything, has been one of maturation from an emotional standpoint. Hey, get ready for the next play and be ready to go. But he will get a chance. There's not doubt.

Seth Helgeson: Per the Minnesota Star Tribune, Golden Gopher head coach Don Lucia spoke a bit about sophomore defenseman Seth Helgeson:

"Seth has grown a lot. He is using his body better. He is more confident. He is more physical. He has gone from being [part of] a third set, playing against other people's third and fourth lines last year to be thrown into a position where he is playing against other people's best players. He has had some games where he has struggled at times, but he still is only a sophomore."

Lastly, the NCAA hockey season has re-started with some invitational tournaments the past few days.   In two Michigan wins junior defenseman Brandon Burlon has one assist and is a +5.  In a 6-5 loss to Boston College, Colgate junior defenseman Corbin McPherson added his 4th goal of the year which doubles his goal total from the past two seasons.