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New Jersey Devils Prospect Update: 10/30/18

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Week 4 of the 2018-19 prospect update saw Xavier Bernard and Ty Smith continue to stand out in junior action, Reilly Walsh start his collegiate season off with a bang, and Akira Schmid make a great first impression in the NAHL.

2017 NHL Draft - Portraits
Reilly Walsh opened up his season with 2 PP goals and 9 shots for Harvard in their opening game against Dartmouth on Saturday.
Photo by Stacy Revere/Getty Images

The 4th week of the 2018-19 prospect update is here. It’s highlighted by defensemen Xavier Bernard, Ty Smith, and Jeremy Davies continuing to impress this season while fellow prospect Reilly Walsh joins in with a hot start for Harvard. Forward Aarne Talvitie once again shows that he’s adapting well to the NCAA while goaltender Akira Schmid made a great first impression in the NAHL. In Europe the Devils 3 Russian prospects all spent time in the KHL this past week while Jesper Boqvist continued to impress in Sweden.

QMJHL

Jocktan Chainey was a -2 with 4 shots over 2 games for Halifax last week. While he’s more known for his defensive game, he hasn’t produced a point in 6 games now.

Xavier Bernard had an assist, even rating, 6 PIM, and 10 shots in 2 games for Drummondville last week. According to Prospect-Stats.com, Bernard’s 3.56 shots per game rate ranks 3rd among the defensemen in the QMJHL. His expected goals per game of 0.13 is currently 8th among the defensemen in the Q. Bernard is also on the QMJHL team that will take on Russia in the upcoming Canada Russia Series. The QMJHL vs. Russia games are on 11/13 and 11/15.

Jeremy Groleau had an even rating and a shot across 2 games for Chicoutimi last week. Groleau has now gone 5 straight games without being on the ice for an even strength goal. The last time was in Chicoutimi’s 10/13 game against Shawinigan when he was on for the opening goal by Shawinigan. He has been on the ice for a few short handed goals which is to be expected in this league, including on 3 of Baie-Comeau’s 4 PP goals in their game against Chicoutimi on Saturday.

OHL

Mitchell Hoelscher had an even rating, 5 shots, and won 61.9% of his faceoffs as he continues to anchor the 3rd line for the OHL’s top club.

WHL

Ty Smith had 2 assists, an even rating, and 2 shots in 2 games for Spokane last week. Smith continues to lead the WHL defensemen in assists and points per game. He was also officially named co-captain with Kings prospect Jaret Anderson-Dolan. A quick reminder that Smith is on the WHL team for the Canda Russia Series and will take on Russia on 11/5 and 11/6.

NCAA

Jeremy Davies had a strong weekend for Northeastern with 2 assists, +4, and 7 shots across 2 games.

Reilly Walsh had 2 PP goals, an even rating, 2 PIM, and 9 shots in Harvard’s 7-6 overtime loss to Dartmouth on Saturday. You can check out one of his goals below. A reminder that most of Harvard’s games will be on ESPN+ this season including their Friday and Saturday games at 7 PM ET against Quinnipiac and Princeton respectively.

Matt Hellickson was a -1 with 4 shots in 2 games against Minnesota Duluth this past weekend. Friday’s game was a bit of an up and down affair for the defensemen. He failed to cover Parker Mackay who found space in front of the net to receive a pass from below the goalline on UMD’s opening goal. He also struggled to help Notre Dame to break out of the zone at times but overall was fine in his own end more often than not. I thought it was encouraging to see how much more comfortable he is to get forward and engage offensively this season compared to last season. Notre Dame will take on Ohio State this weekend with Friday’s 7:30 PM ET game airing on SNY apparently and their 7:30 PM ET game airing on NBC SN.

Aarne Talvitie moved up to play LW on Penn State’s top line in their victory over Princeton on Friday. He had an assist, +1, and a shot and extended his point streak to 4 games.

NAHL

Akira Schmid made a great first impression with the Corpus Christi IceRays this past weekend as he led them to back-to-back victories over the Kenai River Brown Bears. He made 18 saves on 19 shots in Friday’s game and followed it up with 37 saves on 39 shots in Saturday’s game. He earned NAHL South Division Star of the Week honors and his coach had this to say about his performance:

“Akira was very good all weekend helping us win two very important games. He played a very calm and confident style, while making big saves when needed,” said IceRays head coach Ryan Cruthers.

Russia

KHL

VHL

MHL

Mikhail Maltsev played in one game this past week but it was his first return to KHL action since 9/8. On Sunday he finished a +1 with 2 shots and won 14/16 faceoffs while playing 8:57 against Slovan. Hopefully he can keep earning more minutes in the KHL going forward.

Yegor Zaitsev was a -1 with 2 PIM, a shot, and average ice time of 10:51 across 2 KHL games last week.

Nikita Popugaev played in 4 games last week. In 3 KHL games he finished with an even rating and played just over 5 minutes total between all of those games. In his only MHL game he had 2 assists, an even rating, 4 shots, and played 19:35. He has put up at least one point in every MHL appearance he’s made this season.

Sweden & Finland

Jesper Boqvist had 2 assists, +2, 2 PIM, and 6 shots while averaging 17:48 across 2 games last week. It was brought to my attention that the SHL actually provides Corsi, Fenwick, and PDO stats. Boqvist currently has a 52.07 CF% which ranks 6th out of the 15 Brynas forwards.

Last week, news came out that Fabian Zetterlund would miss at least 6 weeks with a knee injury. It was brought to my attention that the SHL actually provides Corsi, Fenwick, and PDO stats. At the time of his injury, Zetterlund had a 54.17 CF% which ranked 9th out of the 13 Farjestad forwards.

Eetu Pakkila had another strong week for Karpat U20 with 3 goals, 3 assists, +4, and 16 shots while averaging 16:44 across 2 games. 2 of those goals and the 3 assists all came in his game on Saturday. He’s currently leading his team in scoring and tied for 12th in the league.

Switzerland

Gilles Senn’s tough 2018-19 season continued with a single start this past week. He made just 12 saves on 18 shots in a loss to HC Lugano on Saturday. HC Davos is currently 3-10 on the season, sitting in 11th place out of the 12 team NLA. They’ve also allowed a league high 52 goals, 9 more than the next team on the list, and own the worst goal differential.

Your Take

Which prospects stood out to you this week? Which players are you encouraged about early on in the 2018-19 season? Are you concerned about any of the prospects? Leave your comments below and thank you for reading!