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New Jersey Devils Prospect Update: 12/8/15

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Week 10 of the 2015-16 prospect update saw Zacha and Speers produce a lot in the OHL, Blackwood earn a suspension, prospects get named to WJC pre-tournament camp rosters, and Albany continue to ride strong special teams play.

Pavel Zacha is red hot with 4 goals and 5 assists over his last 3 games.
Pavel Zacha is red hot with 4 goals and 5 assists over his last 3 games.
Mike Ehrmann/Getty Images

This post will recap the 10th week of Devils prospect action for the 2015-16 season. It's highlighted by Pavel Zacha and Blake Speers tearing up the OHL, Mackenzie Blackwood earning himself a match penalty, prospects being invited to WJC pre-tournament camps, and Albany's continued strong special teams play. 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 20.12 Flint 27 7 16 23 -2 28 9.09% 2.85 0.85
Height: 6'2 A1 Pts1 EVG EVA EV Pts PPG PPA PP Pts SHG SHA SH Pts NHLe
Weight: 225 10 17 4 13 17 3 3 6 0 0 0 23
GP G A Pts +/- PIM SH% SH/GP Pts/GP
Josh Jacobs D 19.82 Sarnia 28 1 11 12 3 20 1.45% 2.46 0.43
Height: 6'2 A1 Pts1 EVG EVA EV Pts PPG PPA PP Pts SHG SHA SH Pts NHLe
Weight: 200 9 10 0 8 8 1 3 4 0 0 0 12
GP G A Pts +/- PIM SH% SH/GP Pts/GP
Pavel Zacha C 18.68 Sarnia 23 17 13 30 6 46 20.73% 3.57 1.30
Height: 6'3 A1 Pts1 EVG EVA EV Pts PPG PPA PP Pts SHG SHA SH Pts NHLe
Weight: 213 8 25 10 5 15 6 8 14 1 0 1 35
GP G A Pts +/- PIM SH% SH/GP Pts/GP
Blake Speers RW 18.94 Sault Ste. Marie 28 7 19 26 -14 18 7.87% 3.18 0.93
Height: 5'11 A1 Pts1 EVG EVA EV Pts PPG PPA PP Pts SHG SHA SH Pts NHLe
Weight: 183 12 19 6 9 15 1 10 11 0 0 0 25
GP G A Pts +/- PIM SH% SH/GP Pts/GP
Colton White D 18.61 Sault Ste. Marie 28 4 11 15 -8 5 10.81% 1.32 0.54
Height: 6'1 A1 Pts1 EVG EVA EV Pts PPG PPA PP Pts SHG SHA SH Pts NHLe
Weight: 185 7 11 2 6 8 2 4 6 0 0 0 14

Name Age GP GS W L OTL SOL GAA SV% GA%- GSAA GSAA/60
Mackenzie Blackwood 19.01 24 24 16 7 0 0 2.36 0.932 72 21.15 0.92
Height: 6'4 Barrie SO SO% QS QS% RBS RBS% BO BO% EVG% PPG% SHG%
Weight: 215 OHL 2 8.33% 16 66.67% 2 8.33% 1 4.17% 85.19% 12.96% 1.85%

Connor Chatham produced in all 3 games he played in last week for Flint. He finished the week with a goal, 4 assists, and 5 shots. He now has 4 goals and 10 assists over his last 10 games. OHL Prospects named Chatham as a likely trade candidate for teams looking to bolster their 2nd and 3rd lines. The OHL trade deadline is January 8 for overagers and January 11 for others.

Pavel Zacha had an absolutely awesome week for Sarnia. He scored against North Bay on Friday, had 2 goals and 2 assists against Flint on Saturday, and then had a goal and 3 assists against Ottawa on Sunday. Check out the highlights from the Flint game and Ottawa game. It's great to see him heating up ahead of the World Junior Championship where he will represent the Czech Republic. The tournament runs December 26 - January 5 in Helsinki, Finland but he will leave for their pre-tournament camp shortly.

Josh Jacobs had a quieter week for Sarnia, going a +1, with 2 penalty minutes, and 4 shots across 3 games.

Blake Speers had a really nice week for Sault Ste. Marie. He increased his point streak to 4 games by notching an assist against Sudbury on Wednesday, scoring a goal and adding 3 assists against Oshawa on Saturday, and scoring against North Bay on Sunday. He put up 12 shots over the course of those 3 games. Colton White also got in on the action with a goal and an assist on the week. He now has 3 goals and 2 assists over his last 5 games.

Mackenzie Blackwood had an interesting week to put it mildly. As expected, he was named to Canada's pre-WJC camp roster on Tuesday. That camp will run from December 10 - December 14 in Toronto. He was also named the Vaughn OHL Goaltender of the Month for November on Wednesday. However, his week would then turn when he took a match penalty for this slash (alternative angle) against Sudbury in the 1st period of a game on Friday. He missed Barrie's next game due to the automatic suspension for the match penalty. No further disciplined has been announced (as of yet) though it could end up affecting his WJC status.

WHL

Name Pos. Age Team GP G A Pts +/- PIM Pts/GP NHLe
John Quenneville C 19.65 Brandon 23 11 17 28 13 30 1.22 27
Height: 6'1 A1 Pts1 EVG EVA EV Pts PPG PPA PP Pts SHG SHA SH Pts
Weight: 205 10 21 6 10 16 4 7 11 1 0 1
GP G A Pts +/- PIM Pts/GP NHLe
Ryan Rehill D 20.10 Kamloops 25 3 11 14 -2 56 0.56 12
Height: 6'3 A1 Pts1 EVG EVA EV Pts PPG PPA PP Pts SHG SHA SH Pts
Weight: 218 6 9 1 7 8 2 2 4 0 1 1
GP G A Pts +/- PIM Pts/GP NHLe
Brandon Baddock C 20.71 Edmonton 29 9 3 12 -11 66 0.41 9
Height: 6'4 A1 Pts1 EVG EVA EV Pts PPG PPA PP Pts SHG SHA SH Pts
Weight: 225 2 11 5 2 7 2 1 3 1 0 1

John Quenneville was also named to Canada's pre-WJC camp roster. He had a nice week for Brandon with 3 assists on Wednesday against Swift Current and then an assist against Regina on Friday. He also picked up a fighting major against Regina. He was held off the scoresheet against Saskatoon on Saturday.

Ryan Rehill scored against Kootenay on Tuesday and finished a +1. He was held off the scoresheet in Kamloops next 2 games and was a -4 with 4 penalty minutes during that time.

Brandon Baddock and Edmonton only played once last week but he made it count by scoring in his 3rd straight game.

NCAA

Name Pos. Team GP G A Pts +/- PIM SH% SH/GP Pts/GP FO% NHLe
Alex Kerfoot C Harvard 9 2 11 13 5 8 11.11% 2.00 1.44 43.38% 47
Height: 5'10 Age League A1 Pts1 EVG EVA EV Pts PPG PPA PP Pts SHG SHA SH Pts
Weight: 175 21.34 ECAC 4 6 1 4 5 0 7 7 0 0 0
GP G A Pts +/- PIM SH% SH/GP Pts/GP Blks NHLe
Steve Santini D Boston College 15 1 5 6 7 26 4.55% 1.47 0.40 27 11
Height: 6'2 A1 Pts1 EVG EVA EV Pts PPG PPA PP Pts SHG SHA SH Pts
Weight: 208 20.77 Hockey East 1 2 1 3 4 0 0 0 0 1 1
GP G A Pts +/- PIM SH% SH/GP Pts/GP FO% NHLe
JD Dudek C Boston College 14 0 1 1 -2 6 0.00% 0.71 0.07 45.00% 2
Height: 5'11 A1 Pts1 EVG EVA EV Pts PPG PPA PP Pts SHG SHA SH Pts
Weight: 185 19.87 Hockey East 0 0 0 1 1 0 0 0 0 0 0
GP G A Pts +/- PIM SH% SH/GP Pts/GP FO% NHLe
Miles Wood LW Boston College 15 7 12 19 10 45 17.07% 2.73 1.27 100.00% 34
Height: 6'1 A1 Pts1 EVG EVA EV Pts PPG PPA PP Pts SHG SHA SH Pts
Weight: 185 20.25 Hockey East 7 14 4 10 14 2 1 3 0 0 0
GP G A Pts +/- PIM SH% SH/GP Pts/GP FO% NHLe
Brett Seney C Merrimack 11 2 8 10 4 14 11.76% 1.55 0.91 55.40% 25
Height: 5'9 A1 Pts1 EVG EVA EV Pts PPG PPA PP Pts SHG SHA SH Pts
Weight: 170 19.78 Hockey East 6 8 2 7 9 0 1 1 0 0 0

Alex Kerfoot extended his point streak to 6 games with an assist against Union on Friday night. However, the injury bug seems to have struck him once again. He missed Harvard's game on Saturday against RPI with an "upper body injury." This report from Ken Schott of The Dailey Gazette notes that Kerfoot left the Harvard - Union game in overtime with what appeared to be a right wrist injury. Harvard hasn't given any comment on the situation but it's important to note that Kerfoot also has a history of shoulder injuries. Hopefully it's nothing serious and he's healthy soon.

Boston College took on Northeastern in a back-to-back last weekend. Steve Santini was a -3 with 2 penalty minutes and shot in the series. Miles Wood had a goal, assist, +1, shot, and 17 penalty minutes on the weekend. Wood is now on a 7 game point streak with 5 goals and 5 assists during that stretch. JD Dudek was a -1 with a shot and won 5 of 8 faceoffs in the series.

Brett Seney missed both of Merrimack's games last weekend with an "undisclosed" injury. He has now missed 3 games in a row.

KHL

Name Pos. Team GP G A Pts +/- PIM SH SH% SH/GP Pts/GP FO% ATOI
Artur Gavrus LW Dinamo Minsk 19 3 7 10 -1 0 41 7.32% 2.16 0.53 26.32% 16:54
Height: 5'10 Age League A1 Pts1 EVG EVA EV Pts PPG PPA PP Pts SHG SHA SH Pts NHLe
Weight: 183 21.94 KHL 4 7 3 6 9 0 1 1 0 0 0 36

Artur Gavrus remains sidelined indefinitely with a concussion.

AHL

Name Height Weight Age Pos GP G A PTS A1 Pts1 +/- PIM SH SH% SH/GP Pts/GP GC GC/GP NHLe EVG EVA EV Pts PPG PPA PP Pts SHG SHA SH Pts
Mike Sislo 5'11 190 27.90 RW 22 13 9 22 5 18 3 2 69 18.84% 3.14 1.00 9.43 0.43 39 3 4 7 9 5 14 1 0 1
Matt Lorito 5'9 170 25.45 LW 21 4 17 21 12 16 6 6 29 13.79% 1.38 1.00 6.73 0.32 39 2 5 7 2 12 14 0 0 0
Joseph Blandisi 6'0 200 21.40 C 18 7 9 16 5 12 1 43 22 31.82% 1.22 0.89 6.20 0.34 35 3 4 7 4 5 9 0 0 0
Reid Boucher 5'10 190 22.26 LW 17 10 5 15 4 14 5 4 67 14.93% 3.94 0.88 6.73 0.40 35 5 3 8 5 2 7 0 0 0
Marc-Andre Gragnani 6'3 210 28.76 D 16 0 13 13 3 3 -6 2 11 0.00% 0.69 0.81 3.50 0.22 32 0 3 3 0 10 10 0 0 0
Paul Thompson 6'1 200 27.04 RW 15 6 6 12 5 11 2 29 45 13.33% 3.00 0.80 4.85 0.32 31 4 5 9 2 1 3 0 0 0
Corey Tropp 6'2 185 26.39 RW 22 5 7 12 3 8 5 34 39 12.82% 1.77 0.55 4.58 0.21 21 3 4 7 2 3 5 0 0 0
Brandon Burlon 6'0 190 25.78 D 19 1 9 10 5 6 -3 13 16 6.25% 0.84 0.53 2.96 0.16 21 1 2 3 0 7 7 0 0 0
Vojtech Mozik 6'3 200 22.96 D 19 1 7 8 5 6 16 14 37 2.70% 1.95 0.42 2.42 0.13 17 1 5 6 0 2 2 0 0 0
Blake Coleman 5'11 200 24.04 C 14 4 3 7 2 6 5 19 26 15.38% 1.86 0.50 2.96 0.21 20 4 2 6 0 1 1 0 0 0
Blake Pietila 5'11 200 22.81 LW 20 4 3 7 2 6 -2 0 34 11.76% 1.70 0.35 2.96 0.15 14 3 1 4 1 1 2 0 1 1
Dan Kelly 6'1 215 26.58 D 19 1 5 6 2 3 4 33 13 7.69% 0.68 0.32 1.89 0.10 12 1 3 4 0 0 0 0 2 2
Seth Helgeson 6'4 215 25.18 D 22 0 5 5 3 3 10 39 23 0.00% 1.05 0.23 1.35 0.06 9 0 4 4 0 1 1 0 0 0
Ryan Kujawinski 6'2 205 20.70 C 17 2 3 5 0 2 -2 4 12 16.67% 0.71 0.29 1.89 0.11 12 2 2 4 0 1 1 0 0 0
Ben Thomson 6'3 205 22.90 LW 19 2 3 5 2 4 -5 30 33 6.06% 1.74 0.26 1.89 0.10 10 2 2 4 0 1 1 0 0 0
Jim O'Brien 6'3 195 26.87 C 8 2 2 4 1 3 -3 4 31 6.45% 3.88 0.50 1.62 0.20 20 0 1 1 1 1 2 1 0 1
Max Novak 5'11 180 24.66 RW 12 2 1 3 0 2 0 0 21 9.52% 1.75 0.25 1.35 0.11 10 1 1 2 1 0 1 0 0 0
Rod Pelley 6'0 205 31.28 LW 22 1 1 2 0 1 0 15 24 4.17% 1.09 0.09 0.81 0.04 4 1 1 2 0 0 0 0 0 0
Reece Scarlett 6'1 180 22.70 D 13 0 2 2 1 1 -4 8 10 0.00% 0.77 0.15 0.54 0.04 6 0 1 1 0 1 1 0 0 0
Chris McKelvie 6'1 195 30.81 RW 11 0 1 1 0 0 -2 9 10 0.00% 0.91 0.09 0.27 0.02 4 0 1 1 0 0 0 0 0 0
Graham Black 6'0 185 22.91 C 5 0 1 1 0 0 -2 0 5 0.00% 1.00 0.20 0.27 0.05 8 0 1 1 0 0 0 0 0 0
Corbin McPherson 6'4 210 27.27 D 15 0 1 1 0 0 -2 14 18 0.00% 1.20 0.07 0.27 0.02 3 0 1 1 0 0 0 0 0 0
Greg Wolfe 5'10 185 25.64 C 3 1 0 1 0 1 0 0 2 50.00% 0.67 0.33 0.54 0.18 13 1 0 1 0 0 0 0 0 0
Raman Hrabarenka 6'4 230 23.30 D 8 0 0 0 0 0 -2 20 9 0.00% 1.13 0.00 0.00 0.00 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0
Pierre-Luc Letourneau-Leblond 6'1 210 30.53 RW 16 0 0 0 0 0 0 35 14 0.00% 0.88 0.00 0.00 0.00 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0
Joe Faust 5'11 207 24.08 D 1 0 0 0 0 0 -1 0 0 0.00% 0.00 0.00 0.00 0.00 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0
Alexandre Carrier 6'3 210 24.82 RW 2 0 0 0 0 0 -1 0 3 0.00% 1.50 0.00 0.00 0.00 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0

Name Age GP GS W L OTL SOL GAA SV% GA%- GSAA GSAA/60
Yann Danis 34.48 19 19 14 2 3 0 1.67 0.931 78 9.10 0.47
Height: 5'11 MIN SO SO% QS QS% RBS RBS% BO BO% EVG% PPG% SHG%
Weight: 180 1151.47 4 21.05% 14 73.68% 0 0.00% 1 5.26% 78.13% 21.88% 0.00%
Age GP GS W L OTL SOL GAA SV% GA%- GSAA GSAA/60
Scott Wedgewood 23.33 0 0 0 0 0 0 0.00 0 0 0 0
Height: 6'2 MIN SO SO% QS QS% RBS RBS% BO BO% EVG% PPG% SHG%
Weight: 195 0 0 0.00% 0 0.00% 0 0.00% 0 0.00% 0.00% 0.00% 0.00%
Age GP GS W L OTL SOL GAA SV% GA%- GSAA GSAA/60
Doug Carr 26.76 3 3 1 2 0 0 2.34 0.897 117 -1.02 -0.34
Height: 6'2 MIN SO SO% QS QS% RBS RBS% BO BO% EVG% PPG% SHG%
Weight: 200 179.75 0 0.00% 1 33.33% 0 0.00% 0 0.00% 100.00% 0.00% 0.00%

Albany won all 3 of their games last week and have now won 6 in a row. They are currently 2nd in the division with 33 points after 22 games. Albany has a 103.32% PDO (all situations) as well as the best PP in the AHL (28.28%) and the top PK (91.67%).

Injury Update: Jim O'Brien (ankle), Chris McKelvie (wrist), and Blake Coleman (upper body) all remain sidelined. Scott Wedgewood (ankle) made a conditioning apperace for Adirondack (ECHL). Joseph Blandisi (ankle), Blake Pietila (hamstring), and Reece Scarlett returned to the line up.

Transactions: Ben Johnson returned to the organization and was reassigned to Adirondack (ECHL) on 12/1. Ken Appleby was called up on 12/4 and sent down the following day so Wedgewood could get an ECHL game in. Joe Faust was returned to Adirondack on 12/6. Alexandre Carrier and Doug Carr were released from their PTO's on 12/6 and 12/7 respectively.

Suspension: Dan Kelly was suspended for the 12/5 game against Rochester due to an illegal check to the head on Wednesday against St. John's.

Wednesday 12/2: Albany defeated St. John's 2-1 in OT. Mike Sislo had the 1st goal for the Devils, scoring on the PP with Marc-Andre Gragnani and Corey Tropp earning the assists. Paul Thompson had the game winner with Gragnani picking up the assist. Reid Boucher had 10 shots as Albany outshot St. John's 38-18. Danis made 17 saves to pick up the win. Albany went 1/5 on the PP and 5/5 on the PK. Here is the gamesheet.



Line Up:
Sislo-Lorito-Tropp
Boucher-Novak-Thompson
Pietila-Kujawinski-Thomson
Leblond-Pelley-Wolfe

Kelly-Gragnani
Helgeson-Mozik
McPherson-Burlon

Saturday 12/5: Albany defeated Rochester 2-1. Max Novak had the first goal, scoring on the PP with Matt Lorito and Joseph Blandisi picking up the assists. Mike Sislo had the second goal, also on the PP, with Paul Thompson and Matt Lorito getting the assists. Reid Boucher had 6 shots as the Devils outshot the Americans 30-24. Danis made 23 saves in another winning effort. Albany went 2/2 on the PP and 4/4 on the PK as their special teams continue to shine. Here is the gamesheet.



Line Up:
Lorito-Blandisi-Sislo
Boucher-Novak-Thompson
Thomson-Pietila-Tropp
Leblond-Pelley-Kujawinski

Gragnani-Scarlett
Mozik-Helgeson
Burlon-McPherson

Sunday 12/6: Albany defeated Syracuse 4-0. Reid Boucher, Dan Kelly, Joseph Blandisi, and Max Novak had the goals. Mike Sislo had 3 assists followed by Marc-Andre Gragnani with 2 and Brandon Burlon with 1. Reid Boucher had 4 shots as the Devils outshot the Crunch 24-23. Danis earned his 4th shutout of the season. Albany went 2/4 on the PP and 6/6 on the PK. Here is the gamesheet.



Line Up:
Lorito-Blandisi-Sislo
Boucher-Novak-Tropp
Thomson-Pietila-Kujawinski
Leblond-Pelley-Wolfe

Kelly-Gragnani
Helgeson-Mozik
McPherson-Burlon

Coming Up: Albany will take on Syracuse on Friday and Wilkes-Barre/Scranton on Saturday.

ECHL

Name Height Weight Age Pos GP G A PTS A1 Pts1 +/- PIM SH SH% SH/GP Pts/GP EVG EVA EV Pts PPG PPA PP Pts SHG SHA SH Pts
Joe Faust 5'11 207 24.08 D 10 0 4 4 3 3 -1 6 12 0.00% 1.20 0.40 0 2 2 0 2 2 0 0 0

Name Age GP GS W L OTL SOL GAA SV% GA%- GSAA GSAA/60
Ken Appleby 20.67 13 13 10 2 0 1 1.83 0.937 72 9.23 0.71
Height: 6'4 MIN SO SO% QS QS% RBS RBS% BO BO% EVG% PPG% SHG%
Weight: 205 784.94 2 15.38% 9 69.23% 1 7.69% 1 7.69% 58.33% 37.50% 4.17%
Age GP GS W L OTL SOL GAA SV% GA%- GSAA GSAA/60
Scott Wedgewood 23.33 1 1 1 0 0 0 2.00 0.951 56 1.57 1.57
Height: 6'2 MIN SO SO% QS QS% RBS RBS% BO BO% EVG% PPG% SHG%
Weight: 195 60 0 0.00% 1 100.00% 0 0.00% 0 0.00% 100.00% 0.00% 0.00%

Ken Appleby had a 29 save shutout for Adirondack against Brampton on Thursday as he continues to be very solid in goal. Scott Wedgewood made his first start of the season since recovering from an ankle injury and stopped 39 of 41 shots he faced against Brampton on Friday. Wedgewood was then recalled to Albany after the game.

Prospect of the Week

No surprise here, Pavel Zacha earns prospect of the week honors. 4 goals and 5 assists in 3 games, which included back-to-back 4 point games will seal the deal. He's clearly the offensive leader for Sarnia and is currently the only player on the team producing at over a point per game pace. His 20.73 SH% is high but not unnatural for an elite player at this level. I find his average of 3.57 SH/GP encouraging. Hopefully he can continue this strong play into the WJC later this month.

ADevil of the Week

With 2 goals, 3 assists, and 9 shots over the course of 3 games, Mike Sislo get this week's honors. He is now on a 5 game scoring streak (3 goals and 4 assists) and leads Albany in goals, points, goals created, and goals created per game.

Your Take

So...this Zacha kid is pretty good. What are your thoughts on his performances? What's your reaction to Blackwood's slash? What other prospects or events stood out to you? Leave your comments below and thank you for reading!