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New Jersey Devils Prospect Update: 12/18/18

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Week 11 of the 2018-19 prospect update saw Ty Smith officially make Canada’s WJC roster, Mitchell Hoelscher continue to stay hot in the OHL, and Akira Schmid pick up his first shutout of the season.

2018 NHL Draft - Portraits
Get ready to see a lot of Ty Smith for Canada as we get closer to the WJC.
Photo by Tom Pennington/Getty Images

The 11th week of the 2018-19 prospect update is here. It’s highlighted by Ty Smith earning a spot on Canada’s WJC roster, Mitchell Hoelscher impressing in a first line center role for Ottawa, Akira Schmid earning a shutout for Omaha prior to leaving for WJC camp, and Jesper Boqvist and Mikhail Maltsev picking up more international experience.

QMJHL

Jocktan Chainey returned to the Moosheads line up after missing a few games due to illness. In 3 games last week he had an assist, +2, 4 PIM, and 6 shots.

Xavier Bernard had an assist, +5, 11 PIM, and 4 shots across 3 games last week. He picked up a fighting major and game misconduct against Gatineau on Saturday.

Jeremy Groleau was a +1 with 5 shots in 3 games last week.

Note: The QMJHL is on break until 12/28.

OHL

The Ottawa 67’s have had to shuffle their lines a bit due to a WJC call up and injuries. Mitchell Hoelscher has stepped up to center the top line with Austen Keating and Tye Felhaber on his wings. He took full advantage of this offensive role by putting up a goal, 4 assists, +2, 2 PIM, 11 shots, and a 56.16 FO% in 3 games last week. He is on a 5 game point streak with 2 goals and 7 assists in that stretch. He now has 3 goals and 9 assists over his last 7 games after having just 3 goals and 7 assists over his first 28 games. You can check out his deflection goal from his game against Owen Sound on Saturday below:

Note: The OHL is on break until 12/28.

WHL

As expected, Ty Smith was officially named to Canada’s WJC squad after appearing in 2 selection camp exhibition games. According to Mark Masters, Smith was on the LD on top pairing for Canada’s exhibition against uSports All-Stars last Wednesday. In that game he skated with New York Islanders prospect Noah Dobson (1/12, 2018). In their final exhibition on Friday, Smith skated LD on the second pairing with Detroit Red Wings prospect Jared McIsaac (2/36, 2018). Once again according to Masters, Smith was skating LD on the third pairing in practice on Sunday and Monday alongside Chicago Blackhawks prospect Ian Mitchell (2/57, 2017). It appears he’s also quarterbacking Canada’s second PP unit. Craig Button of TSN had this quick profile of Ty Smith that is worth checking out:

The 2019 World Junior Championship takes place in Vancouver, Canada and Victoria, Canada from 12/26 to 1/5.

NCAA

Jeremy Davies returns to action for Northeastern when they resume their season on 12/28 against RPI.

Reilly Walsh and Harvard resume their season on 1/4 when they take on RPI. The NCAA website gave Walsh some praise for leading Harvard in PP goals with 5 as they currently lead the nation with a 37 PP%. Chris Dilks of SBN College Hockey had this to say about Walsh getting snubbed by the US WJC team:

I’m really surprised Reilly Walsh was cut. I know the assumption is probably the US is okay with offensive defensemen, but it’s hard to score goals, and I’m not sure you ever truly have enough offense. Add in that he’s a right shot on a team that is kind of grasping for those and it’s a bit of a head-scratcher.

Matt Hellickson returns to action for Notre Dame when they resume their season on 12/31 against Boston College.

Aarne Talvitie missed Penn State’s game against Princeton on Saturday as he has traveled to join up with the Finnish team ahead of the WJC.

USHL/NAHL

Akira Schmid earned a 32 save shutout in a 1-0 overtime victory over the Muskegon Lumberjacks on Saturday. He has now stopped 64 of the last 66 shots he has faced across his last 3 appearances, albeit as a backup goaltender. Hopefully he can carry some of this momentum into trying to earn playing time for the Swiss at the upcoming WJC.

Russia

KHL

VHL

MHL

Mikhail Maltsev represented the Russian reserve team in the Lucerne Cup this past week.

Yegor Zaitsev was a -1 with 2 shots in 11:05 in a KHL appearance on Tuesday.

Nikita Popugaev made the bench for Amur in KHL action against Kunlun RS but didn’t appear in the game.

Sweden & Finland

Jesper Boqvist helped Sweden to a 3rd place finish at the 2018 Channel One Cup which was won by Russia. It appears he at least had a couple of assists in the tournament.

Fabian Zetterlund is with the Swedish team in Kelowna ahead of the WJC. According to this article from HockeyNews.se, it appears he had to watch a recent practice from the stands due to his equipment getting stuck in Iceland. I’m just happy he’s only missing practice due to missing equipment and not an injury.

Eetu Pakkila had 2 goals (1 PP, 1 SH), 2 assists (both PP), +4, and 18 shots while averaging 16:40 per game across 3 games last week.

Switzerland

Gilles Senn and HC Davos had this past week off. They return to league action on 12/22.

Your Take

Which prospects stood out to you this week? Which prospects are you most excited about watching in the WJC? What do you think about Hoelscher’s game now that he temporarily has a more offensive role on his team? Leave your comments below and thank you for reading!