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New Jersey Devils Prospect Update: 10/10/17

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Week 1 of the 2017-18 prospect update checks in on all the Devils prospects from North America to Europe to see how they've started their seasons.

Washington Capitals v New Jersey Devils
Marian Studenic, a 5th round pick by the Devils in 2017, has been a fixture in Hamilton’s top 6 and special teams units to start his 2nd OHL season.
Photo by Bruce Bennett/Getty Images

Welcome along to another season of prospect updates at AAtJ. Ray Shero and his staff have been busy over the past few years rebuilding the system and it figures to be another exciting year of action. A number of players from last year's updates have turned pro and joined Binghamton to start the 2017-18 season. This group includes Blake Speers, Colton White, Brandon Gignac, and Nathan Bastian. Jesper Bratt managed to earn a spot on the New Jersey Devils roster right out of training camp and is off to a hot start offensively and as a weapon on special teams. It's still early and a lot can change but if he keeps that up he will not be going to London to play in the OHL. Michael McLeod is currently injured but still with New Jersey, gaining some valuable experience being around NHL players on a day to day basis. It remains to be seen whether he will stick with New Jersey when healthy or if he eventually winds back with Mississauga in the OHL.

Enough about players from the previous prospect updates that are now in the professional level, let's focus on the prospects currently playing in junior, college, and European leagues.

QMJHL

Name Pos. Age Team GP G A Pts +/- PIM SH% SH/GP Pts/GP
Jocktan Chainey D 18.10 Halifax 7 0 3 3 5 6 0.00% 1.86 0.43
Height: 6'0 A1 Pts1 EVG EVA EV Pts PPG PPA PP Pts SHG SHA SH Pts NHLe
Weight: 195 3 3 0 0 0 0 2 2 0 0 0 9

Jocktan Chainey, a 7th round pick of the Devils from the 2017 draft, is entering his 3rd season in the QMJHL. He has reclaimed a spot in the Mooseheads top 4 as steady defender with some untapped offensive potential. So far he's managed to contribute a bit to the Halifax PP with a couple of assists. Hopefully he can improve his skating, continue to round out his game, and take a step forward offensively this season.

OHL

Name Pos. Age Team GP G A Pts +/- PIM SH% SH/GP Pts/GP FO%
Marian Studenic RW 18.96 Hamilton 6 0 1 1 -4 0 0.00% 2.50 0.17 0.00%
Height: 6'1 A1 Pts1 EVG EVA EV Pts PPG PPA PP Pts SHG SHA SH Pts NHLe
Weight: 170 1 1 0 0 0 0 1 1 0 0 0 4
Name Age GP GS W L OTL SOL GAA SV% GA%- GSAA GSAA/60
Evan Cormier 19.94 4 4 1 2 1 0 2.48 0.920 N/A N/A N/A
Height: 6'3 Team SO SO% QS QS% RBS RBS% BO BO% EVG% PPG% SHG%
Weight: 200 Saginaw 1 25.00% 2 50.00% 1 25.00% 0 0.00% 55.56% 44.44% 0.00%

Marian Studenic, a 5th round pick of the Devils from the 2017 draft, is back for his 2nd season with Hamilton in the OHL. The Slovakian winger is looking to improve on the 30 points in 58 games he had as an OHL rookie last season. Yesterday, he picked up his 1st point of the season in Hamilton's 6th game. Studenic has been a fixture in the top 6 for Hamilton and features heavily on both their PP and PK. While his offensive production hasn't been there, I've been encouraged by his skating ability, his compete level to win loose pucks, and puck handling. He also does a good job to help break the puck out of the defensive zone and transition it with control in the offensive zone. He still seems a bit raw and does have a long ways to go, but the base skillset of a future pro is there. Hopefully this can be his breakout year.

Entering his 4th OHL season is Devils 2016 4th round pick, Evan Cormier, of the Saginaw Spirit. While he has shown improvement since entering the league, his overall track record isn't too encouraging. He'll be looking to put together a fine 2017-18 season to earn a contract with the Devils. So far in 4 games to open the year, it's been a mixed result. He lost his opening game to Windsor despite putting up a strong performance of 32 saves on 34 shots. In his 2nd game he was a bit below average with 24 saves on 27 shots in an overtime loss to London. He followed that up with a 27 save shutout against Ottawa to earn his 1st win of the season. On 9/30 against Guelph he would start his 4th game of the season but only make 20 saves on 24 shots in 2 periods of action. He didn't return for the 3rd period or play in Saginaw's next game as he is nursing an undisclosed injury.

WHL

Name Pos. Age Team GP G A Pts +/- PIM SH% SH/GP Pts/GP
Colby Sissons D 19.75 Swift Current 6 3 6 9 13 10 27.27% 1.83 1.50
Height: 6'2 A1 Pts1 EVG EVA EV Pts PPG PPA PP Pts SHG SHA SH Pts NHLe
Weight: 190 4 7 2 5 7 1 1 2 0 0 0 34
Name Pos. Age Team GP G A Pts +/- PIM SH% SH/GP Pts/GP
Nikita Popugaev LW 18.90 Prince George 7 2 4 6 -10 2 6.06% 4.71 0.86
Height: 6'5.5 A1 Pts1 EVG EVA EV Pts PPG PPA PP Pts SHG SHA SH Pts NHLe
Weight: 210 1 3 0 1 1 2 3 5 0 0 0 20

Colby Sissons is entering his 3rd full season with Swift Current and looking to become one of their top defensemen. The defender has added muscle to his frame to become harder to play against in his own zone. While his defensive play has continued to evovle over the course of his WHL career, it appears that his offensive game could be taking the next step. He's off to a hot start with 3 goals and 6 assists in 6 games. I'm encouraged to see that he's been getting it done at even strength (2-5-7) and on the PP (1-1-2).

Nikita Popugaev, a Devils 4th round pick in 2017, is an intriguing prospect due to his large size and offensive skill. However, like so many other power forwards before him, the results don't always match the package. Popugaev got on the draft radar last season with 51 points in 40 games for Moose Jaw. A trade to Prince George saw his production drop to 18 points in 31 games despite playing a similar role. So far this season he's off to a productive start with 2 goals and 4 assists in 7 games. However, he's been doing most of that on the PP with 2 goals and 3 assists. I'd like to see him start to produce more at even strength going forward. Playing a top 6 role for Prince George will certainly give him a fair amount of opportunities.

NCAA

Name Pos. Team GP G A Pts +/- PIM SH% SH/GP Pts/GP FO% NHLe
Brett Seney LW Merrimack 2 0 0 0 1 2 0.00% 2.50 0.00 0.00% 0
Height: 5'10 Age League A1 Pts1 EVG EVA EV Pts PPG PPA PP Pts SHG SHA SH Pts
Weight: 180 21.63 Hockey East 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0
Name Pos. Team GP G A Pts +/- PIM SH% SH/GP Pts/GP FO% NHLe
JD Dudek RW Boston College 1 0 1 1 -1 0 0.00% 2.00 1.00 0.00% 31
Height: 5'11 Age League A1 Pts1 EVG EVA EV Pts PPG PPA PP Pts SHG SHA SH Pts
Weight: 185 21.71 Hockey East 0 0 0 0 0 0 1 1 0 0 0
Name Pos. Team GP G A Pts +/- PIM SH% SH/GP Pts/GP FO% NHLe
Joey Anderson RW Minnesota Duluth 2 1 0 1 1 0 9.09% 5.50 0.50 0.00% 18
Height: 6'0 Age League A1 Pts1 EVG EVA EV Pts PPG PPA PP Pts SHG SHA SH Pts
Weight: 195 19.32 NCHC 0 1 1 0 1 0 0 0 0 0 0
Name Pos. Team GP G A Pts +/- PIM SH% SH/GP Pts/GP Blks NHLe
Jeremy Davies D Northeastern 2 0 1 1 4 0 0.00% 1.00 0.50 2 16
Height: 5'11 Age League A1 Pts1 EVG EVA EV Pts PPG PPA PP Pts SHG SHA SH Pts
Weight: 188 20.86 Hockey East 1 1 0 1 1 0 0 0 0 0 0
Name Pos. Team GP G A Pts +/- PIM SH% SH/GP Pts/GP Blks NHLe
Matt Hellickson D Notre Dame 2 0 2 2 2 0 0.00% 0.50 1.00 0 27
Height: 6'0 Age League A1 Pts1 EVG EVA EV Pts PPG PPA PP Pts SHG SHA SH Pts
Weight: 181 19.57 Big Ten 0 0 0 2 2 0 0 0 0 0 0

Brett Seney is entering his senior season for Merrimack where he will look to once again be the offensive leader on the team. Playing as a top line LW, he was held off the scoresheet in Merrimack's opening weekend.

Junior forward JD Dudek will look to take on a full time top 6 role for BC after his solid sophomore season which saw him recover from a disappointing freshman campaign. The former prep school standout had an assist in Boston College's opening match tie with Quinnipiac.

Joey Anderson was a bright spot for both Minnesota Duluth and the USA U20 team at the WJC. He reclaimed his spot as the Bulldogs top RW but with new linemates this year in Riley Tufte and Peter Krieger. He also figures to play an important part for USA once again this winter at the WJC. He started the season off right with a goal and 11 shots in UMD's first 2 games.

Jeremy Davies showcased his offensive skill last season for Northeastern and once again will be a core part of their top 4 and PP. He had an assist and 2 shots over the 1st 2 games of his season.

Matt Hellickson, a recent 7th round pick of the Devils from the 2017 draft, made his presence felt in his first action for Notre Dame. In the opening 2 games he finished with 2 assists, a shot, and +2 on the 3rd pair. The former USHL product should have a comfortable time transitioning to the NCAA level.

Reilly Walsh, the Devils 3rd round pick in 2017, is with Harvard but they haven't started their season yet. I'm really excited to see how his offensive skills translate to this level as a 18 year old defender.

KHL

Name Pos. Team GP G A Pts +/- PIM SH SH% SH/GP Pts/GP Blks ATOI
Yegor Rykov D SKA St. Petersburg 19 0 4 4 5 6 16 0.00% 0.84 0.21 13 12:09
Height: 6'2 Age League A1 Pts1 EVG EVA EV Pts PPG PPA PP Pts SHG SHA SH Pts NHLe
Weight: 216 20.50 KHL 2 2 0 4 4 0 0 0 0 0 0 13
Name Pos. Team GP G A Pts +/- PIM SH SH% SH/GP Pts/GP FO% ATOI
Mikhail Maltsev C SKA St. Petersburg 12 0 3 3 5 2 16 0.00% 1.33 0.25 57.14% 7:13
Height: 6'3 Age League A1 Pts1 EVG EVA EV Pts PPG PPA PP Pts SHG SHA SH Pts NHLe
Weight: 205 19.59 KHL 1 1 0 3 3 0 0 0 0 0 0 16
Name Pos. Team GP G A Pts +/- PIM SH SH% SH/GP Pts/GP Blks ATOI
Yegor Zaitsev D Dynamo Moscow 17 0 1 1 0 22 10 0.00% 0.59 0.06 10 9:48
Height: 5'11 Age League A1 Pts1 EVG EVA EV Pts PPG PPA PP Pts SHG SHA SH Pts NHLe
Weight: 185 19.45 KHL 0 0 0 1 1 0 0 0 0 0 0 4

Yegor Rykov is entering his 2nd season as a full time player for SKA St. Petersburg. So far he's playing about the same minutes as last season with an average of just over 12 minutes per game. In 19 games he has 4 assists but it's important to remember he is used in a defensive role. SKA is off to a great start with 17 wins, 1 overtime win, and 2 shootout wins in 20 games played so it's encouraging to see him being a regular on a team like that.

Mikhail Maltsev saw junior and minor league action for SKA's affiliates to begin the season but has lately found himself getting an extended run of games with the big club. In 12 KHL games he has 3 assists, +5, 16 shots, and 57.14 FO% with an average ice time of 7:13. It's encouraging to see his faceoff skills have translated to the next level. Hopefully he can keep playing regular minutes with SKA through the end of the season as he really needs to establish himself at this level.

Yegor Zaitsev is in his 1st full KHL season with Dynamo Moscow. He's nearly matched the amount of KHL games he played last year (19) as he has appeared in 17 games with an assist, even rating, 22 PIM, and average ice time of 9:48. He could also be a factor on Russia's upcoming WJC entry.

Europe

Name Pos. Team GP G A Pts +/- PIM SH SH% SH/GP Pts/GP FO% ATOI
Fabian Zetterlund F Farjestads BK 7 0 0 0 0 0 8 0.00% 1.14 0.00 N/A 8:18
Height: 5'11 Age League A1 Pts1 EVG EVA EV Pts PPG PPA PP Pts SHG SHA SH Pts NHLe
Weight: 180 18.14 SHL 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0
Name Pos. Team GP G A Pts +/- PIM SH SH% SH/GP Pts/GP FO% ATOI
Aarne Talvitie C Blues U20 8 5 5 10 5 2 N/A N/A N/A 1.25 N/A N/A
Height: 5'11 Age League A1 Pts1 EVG EVA EV Pts PPG PPA PP Pts SHG SHA SH Pts
Weight: 198 18.67 Jr. A SM-liiga N/A N/A N/A N/A N/A N/A N/A N/A N/A N/A N/A
Name Age GP GS W L OTL SOL GAA SV% GA%- GSAA GSAA/60
Gilles Senn 21.62 6 6 3 2 0 1 2.31 0.919 N/A N/A N/A
Height: 6'5 Team SO SO% QS QS% RBS RBS% BO BO% EVG% PPG% SHG%
Weight: 192 HC Davos 0 0.00% 4 66.67% 1 16.67% 0 0.00% 71.43% 28.57% 0.00%

Unfortunately, Jesper Boqvist, the Devils 2nd round pick in 2017, broke his wrist in Champions League action in September. He had surgery and is out indefinitely. There is hope that he'll be able to return in time for the WJC but that is no guarantee.

Fabian Zetterlund, drafted in the 3rd round of the 2017 draft, is a great skater that is tenacious in attack and in puck recovery. He'll look to further round out his game in the SHL with Farjestads BK this season. Through 7 games he has no points but has managed 8 shots with an average ice time of 8:18. Hopefully he can get his 1st career SHL point soon and have many more to follow.

Aarne Talvitie, drafted in the 6th round of the 2017 draft, is known for his two-way game. The Finnish center is an interesting position as he will attend Penn State next season, thus the reason why he is still playing at the U20 junior level in his native country. He is the captain of the Espoo Blues U20 squad and has 10 points in 8 games to start the season. He should be able to dominate that league and earn plenty of ice time which should help his development. A former captain for Finland's U18 team, hopefully we see him on their WJC squad this winter.

Gilles Senn was drafted in the 5th round of the 2017 draft as a 21 year old goaltender out of Switzerland. Clearly Ray Shero and his staff saw something they like out of him and wanted to secure his rights. The tall netminder plays for HC Davos where he shares goaltending duties with Red Wings prospect Joren van Pottelberghe. In NLA action Senn is off to a nice start with a 3-2-0-1 record along with a .919 SV% and 4 Quality Starts. Senn, along with the rest of the team, struggled in Champions League action as they were eliminated in group play. He had a .879 SV% over the course of 3 games in that competition. While he's splitting starts right now, it's possible he'll go back to being the 1A for Davos as the season wears on.

Your Take

Now that you've had a chance to catch up with these prospects, which players stand out to you? Which prospects are you expecting to have big seasons? What are your hopes for the 2017-18 prospect season? Leave your comments below and thank you for reading!