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New Jersey Devils Prospect Update: 10/6/15

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Week 1 of the 2015-16 prospect update saw the CHL prospects begin their respective seasons, Artur Gavrus continue his good start in the KHL, and the NCAA prospects begin their preseason. The Albany Devils roster is also starting to take shape.

Mackenzie Blackwood is off to a great start in the OHL.
Mackenzie Blackwood is off to a great start in the OHL.
Mike Ehrmann/Getty Images

This post will recap the 1st week of Devils prospect action for the 2015-16 season. It's highlighted by Mackenzie Blackwood's hot start in the OHL, Artur Gavrus taking a step forward in the KHL, and the Albany Devils roster taking shape ahead of the AHL season. Check out the stats and recap below!

OHL

Name Pos. Age Team GP G A Pts +/- PIM SH% SH/GP Pts/GP
Connor Chatham RW 19.95 Flint 5 1 2 3 3 2 5.00% 4.00 0.60
Height: 6'2 A1 Pts1 EVG EVA EV Pts PPG PPA PP Pts SHG SHA SH Pts NHLe
Weight: 225 0 1 0 2 2 1 0 1 0 0 0 15
GP G A Pts +/- PIM SH% SH/GP Pts/GP
Josh Jacobs D 19.65 Sarnia 5 0 2 2 -3 6 0.00% 2.60 0.40
Height: 6'2 A1 Pts1 EVG EVA EV Pts PPG PPA PP Pts SHG SHA SH Pts NHLe
Weight: 200 2 2 0 1 1 0 1 1 0 0 0 10
GP G A Pts +/- PIM SH% SH/GP Pts/GP
Blake Speers RW 18.77 Sault Ste. Marie 5 0 5 5 -1 2 0.00% 3.20 1.00
Height: 5'11 A1 Pts1 EVG EVA EV Pts PPG PPA PP Pts SHG SHA SH Pts NHLe
Weight: 183 4 4 0 3 3 0 2 2 0 0 0 25
GP G A Pts +/- PIM SH% SH/GP Pts/GP
Colton White D 18.44 Sault Ste. Marie 5 1 3 4 -1 0 11.11% 1.80 0.80
Height: 6'1 A1 Pts1 EVG EVA EV Pts PPG PPA PP Pts SHG SHA SH Pts NHLe
Weight: 185 3 4 0 2 2 1 1 2 0 0 0 20

Name Age GP GS W L OTL SOL GAA SV% GA%- GSAA GSAA/60
Mackenzie Blackwood 18.83 5 5 4 1 0 0 1.38 0.963 39 11.14 2.20
Height: 6'4 Barrie SO SO% QS QS% RBS RBS% BO BO% EVG% PPG% SHG%
Weight: 215 OHL 1 20.00% 5 100.00% 0 0.00% 0 0.00% 71.43% 28.57% 0.00%

At the time of this writing, it hasn't been announced whether or not Pavel Zacha will be sent back to Sarnia by New Jersey. Let's check out the Devils other OHL prospects.

Connor Chatham has had an interesting start to his season with Flint. The large, physical RW has a goal and 2 assists after 3 games. Now that the OHL tracks shots for individual players, we can see that he's averaged 4 shots per game thanks to an 8 shot effort against Saginaw and 7 shot effort against Mississauga. It will be interesting to see if he can keep up this pace throughout the season.

Josh Jacobs has 5 games under his belt with Sarnia this season after making the move from Michigan State where he enjoyed a strong freshman season. Jacobs has already seen power play time and should get to play in all situations for Sarnia this year. I'm expecting good things out of him this year.

Blake Speers hasn't found the back of the net just yet, but has 5 assists in as many games to start his 2015-16 campaign. He's been very involved in every game with at least 2 shots in each game this season and he has all 5 of his assists over his last 3 games. He's another prospect that I'm fairly optimistic about as the new season gets underway.

Colton White has already enjoyed more responsibility with the Soo this year, as he has produced 2 points on the power play after 5 games. I'm interested in seeing how his two-way game develops over the course of the season.

Mackenzie Blackwood is already off to a strong start despite facing a heavy workload once again for Barrie. He leads OHL goaltenders in most categories and already has Devils fans excited. More on him down below in the prospect of the week section.

WHL

Name Pos. Age Team GP G A Pts +/- PIM Pts/GP NHLe
John Quenneville C 19.48 Brandon 2 1 3 4 2 9 2.00 43
Height: 6'1 A1 Pts1 EVG EVA EV Pts PPG PPA PP Pts SHG SHA SH Pts
Weight: 205 2 3 0 1 1 1 2 3 0 0 0
GP G A Pts +/- PIM Pts/GP NHLe
Ryan Rehill D 19.92 Kamloops 3 0 1 1 -2 15 0.33 7
Height: 6'3 A1 Pts1 EVG EVA EV Pts PPG PPA PP Pts SHG SHA SH Pts
Weight: 218 1 1 0 0 0 0 1 1 0 0 0
GP G A Pts +/- PIM Pts/GP NHLe
Brandon Baddock C 20.53 Edmonton 4 1 0 1 -3 6 0.25 5
Height: 6'4 A1 Pts1 EVG EVA EV Pts PPG PPA PP Pts SHG SHA SH Pts
Weight: 225 0 1 0 0 0 1 0 1 0 0 0

John Quenneville returned to Brandon after a solid showing in New Jersey Devils camp and is off to a nice start. The Wheat Kings alternate captain made his presence known with an assist against Calgary followed by a goal, 2 assists, and fight against Regina.

Ryan Rehill is back with Kamloops as a veteran on their blue line. He seems to be seeing power play time so far which should help his point totals, though expect his PIM's to standout as the season progresses.

Brandon Baddock was recently named the 9th captain in Edmonton Oil Kings history. The large center has a goal after 4 games of play to start his season.

NCAA

The Devils will have 5 prospects competing in the NCAA in 2015-16. Junior C Alex Kerfoot returns to Harvard and will look to improve upon his breakout season in 2014-15 that saw him notch 8 goals and 22 assists in 27 games. Harvard begins their preseason on October 24.

Joining Kerfoot in the college ranks is Boston College trio, D Steve Santini, C JD Dudek, and LW Miles Wood. Santini returns for his junior season and will wear an "A" for BC. Wood and Dudek enter their freshman seasons and will look to make an impression, with Wood's debut highly anticipated by college hockey fans. In BC's first preseason game, Santini finished a +1 and a shot against New Brunswick. Wood finished with a goal on one shot and Dudek had a shot as one of the extra forwards.

One of the newest Devils prospects, LW Brett Seney will enter his sophomore season for Merrimack. The Devils selected Seney in the 6th round of the most recent draft after he showcased his speed and scoring touch last season with 11 goals and 15 assists in 34 games. In his first preseason game, Seney had a goal, +1, and a shot against St. Francis Xavier.

KHL

Name Pos. Team GP G A Pts +/- PIM SH SH% SH/GP Pts/GP FO% ATOI
Artur Gavrus LW Dinamo Minsk 16 2 7 9 -2 0 35 5.71% 2.19 0.56 23.53% 17:14
Height: 5'10 Age League A1 Pts1 EVG EVA EV Pts PPG PPA PP Pts SHG SHA SH Pts NHLe
Weight: 183 21.77 KHL 4 6 2 6 8 0 1 1 0 0 0 36

The KHL season began all the way back in August which is why Gavrus has 16 games under his belt in early October. This season he's seen an increase of about 5 minutes per game in ice time compared to last season. Last season, Gavrus finished with 9 points in 36 games - a total that he's already tied this year in just 16 games. His shots per game rate this season is also up by an additional shot compared to his first two KHL seasons. According to Quant Hockey, Gavrus is sitting comfortably above the 75th percentile in points per game among KHL players this season. You can check out his most recent goal here. Hopefully he can keep up this production as the season progresses.

AHL

The Newest Devil: The Devils signed G Ken Appleby to an ELC on Monday. He's most likely to start the year with Adirondack of the ECHL but could very well work his way into the equation should Wedgewood or Danis faulter. Appleby had a solid junior career with a .918 SV% as well as OHL and Memorial Cup titles.

Current Camp Roster
Goaltenders (3): Scott Wedgewood, Yann Danis, Ken Appleby
Defensemen (9): Marc-Andre Gragnani, Brandon Burlon, Raman Hrabarenka, Dan Kelly, Reece Scarlett, Vojtech Mozik, Corbin McPherson, Joe Faust, Dave Shields*
Forwards (14): Rod Pelley, Jim O’Brien, Ben Thomson, Paul Thompson, Mike Sislo, Graham Black, Blake Coleman, Ryan Kujawinski, Blake Pietila, Matt Lorito, Chris McKelvie, Pierre-Luc Letourneau‐Leblond, Joseph Blandisi, Max Novak
* = tryout

Preseason Game #1: The Devils defeated the Hershey Bears on October 1. You can read the official Albany Devils recap here. Max Novak and Blake Coleman had the goals. Joseph Blandisi had 2 assists while Ken Appleby made 28 saves.

Preseason Game #2: The Devils lost 2-1 in overtime to the Wilkes-Barre/Scranton Penguins on October 2. Blandisi had the lone Devils goal and is certainly carrying over his strong play from New Jersey camp to Albany. Wedgewood made 33 saves in the loss. You can read the official Albany Devils recap here.

Up Next: The Devils open their regular season at Binghamton on Saturday at 7:05 PM.

Prospect of the Week

The Devils most recent 2nd round pick, Mackenzie Blackwood takes this week's honors. He's already a top most of the goaltending statistical categories in the OHL. Through 5 games he has an impressive 5 quality starts to go along with a shutout. He's managed a .963 SV% despite being under pressure, facing 40+ shots 3 times, and 30+ shots another time. It's early and this all a small sample size, but he's off to a really nice start and is showing why the scouts were so high on him heading into last year's draft.

Your Take

Which prospects are you most excited about following this season? Do you agree with Blackwood being prospect of the week? What are your thoughts on the Devils prospects heading into the 2015-16 season? Leave your comments below and thank you for reading!