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New Jersey Devils Prospect Update: 1/15/19

Week 14 of the 2018-19 prospect update saw Aarne Talvitie’s season come to an end, Jeremy Groleau and Mitchell Hoelscher put up strong week’s in North American juniors, while Eetu Pakkila continued his strong season in Finnish junior play with more points.

Chicoutimi Sagueneens v Quebec Remparts
Jeremy Groleau may be known for his defensive play, but this week he was very productive from an offensive standpoint with a goal, 3 assists, and 8 shots in 3 games.
Photo by Mathieu Belanger/Getty Images

The 14th week of the 2018-19 prospect update is here. It’s highlighted by Aarne Talvitie’s season coming to an end after learning that the knee injury he suffered in the WJC will require surgery. Also, Jeremy Groleau and Mitchell Hoelscher proved while they are key players for their respective teams, the top defense prospects such as Ty Smith, Jeremy Davies, and Reilly Walsh all had productive weeks, and Eetu Pakkila proved while he is one of the top Finnish players in their top junior league.


Jocktan Chainey missed all 4 of Halifax’s games last week due to an upper body injury. He has now missed 8 straight games after suffering the injury on 12/28/18. So far I haven’t been able to find any update on his condition.

Xavier Bernard had a bit of a rough week, finishing a -6 with 6 shots across 3 games for Charlottetown as they lost all of their games.

Jeremy Groleau had a goal, 3 assists, +2, and 8 shots across 3 games for Chicoutimi last week.


Mitchell Hoelscher impressed this past week with a SH goal, 2 SH assists, +2, 4 PIM, 4 shots, and won 58.62% of his faceoffs in 3 games for Ottawa. It’s encouraging to see him make the most of his opportunities considering he’s playing in a depth role on a deep team.


Ty Smith continues to produce with a PP goal, 3 assists, +4, and 6 shots in 2 games last week. He still leads WHL defensemen in assists (44) and points (48). Smith is also 4th among all WHL players in assists.


Jeremy Davies had 2 assists, +2, 2 PIM, and 5 shots in 2 games against Maine this past weekend. He continues to lead Northeastern defensemen in goals (4), assists (14), and points (18).

Reilly Walsh had a PP assist, even rating, 4 PIM, and 6 shots in 3 games for Harvard last week. With 14 points in 15 games, he’s been Harvard’s 2nd most productive defensemen behind Adam Fox who has 23 points in 15 games. You can see Harvard play Cornell and Colgate on Friday and Saturday respectively, at 7:00 PM ET on ESPN+.

Matt Hellickson was a -2 with 1 shot as Notre Dame lost their weekend series against Minnesota. It looks like ESPNU will have Notre Dame vs. Wisconsin on Friday at 9:00 PM ET. Also, it looks like the second game of this series will air on the Big Ten Network at 7:30 PM ET on Sunday.

Aarne Talvitie’s WJC Gold Medal came at a price as he suffered a knee injury that will require surgery and keep him out for the rest of the season. This was confirmed on Sunday by Penn State as they put out this press release. He finishes his freshman season with 5 goals and 11 assists in 17 games. As Penn State noted in that release, his 16 points ranked 2nd among Big Ten rookie’s at the time of his injury. Hopefully he has a full recovery and is ready to build upon an encouraging, but brief freshman season.


Akira Schmid made his first post-WJC appearance for Omaha on Sunday. He made 26 saves on 28 shots in a victory over Tri-City. It’s a small sample that dates back to 11/30/18, but he has made 90 saves on the past 94 shots he’s faced across 4 USHL games (.957 SV%). Hopefully he can start to earn a bit more playing time for Omaha down the stretch. I’m sure the team would love to find a regular goaltender considering they’ve already used 8 different netminders this season.





Mikhail Maltsev hasn’t made a KHL appearance since 12/18/18 and a VHL appearance since 12/19/18. I haven’t been able to find out an update on him since then.

Yegor Zaitsev continues to play decent minutes in the KHL. In 3 games last week he had a PP goal (his first goal of the season), -1, 2 PIM, a shot, and averaged 16:51. It’s great to see that he earned more ice time last week since it’s been inconsistent this season. Hopefully this is a sign that he’s trending upwards.

Nikita Popugaev continues to be a depth player at the KHL level. In 2 games last week he had an even rating, 3 shots, won a faceoff, and averaged 10:22.

Sweden & Finland

Jesper Boqvist had an even rating and shot while averaging 19:02 between 2 games last week. He has now gone 3 games without a point for the first time since a 3 game stretch from 11/24/18 to 12/1/18. In-between those droughts he had his 7 game, 7 point streak from 12/6/18 to 12/30/18. If you are one of the lucky ones that has the channel Eleven Sports, then you can check out Brynas IF vs. Djurgardens IF on Friday at 1:00 PM ET.

Fabian Zetterlund made his return to the Farjestad line up following the WJC. After 2 games he finished a -1 with 1 shot and average ice time of 9:04. It seems Eleven Sports will have Farjestad BK vs. Frolunda HC at 5:30 PM ET on Thursday if you want to catch more of Zetterlund.

Eetu Pakkila continues to put up video game like numbers up in the Finnish juniors. Across 3 games last week he had 2 goals, 4 assists, +4, 28 shots, and an average ice time of 18:06. He had separate games of 13, 3, and 12 shots which is just ridiculous. He continues to lead his team in goals (26) and points (46). Across the whole Jr. A SM-liiga he leads the league in goals and is 7th in points.


Gilles Senn started 2 out of HC Davos’ 3 games this past week. He made 28 saves on 33 shots in a rough loss to Lausanne HC on Tuesday. He put in a stronger performance in a loss to SC Bern on Friday with 29 saves on 30 shots. It’s great that he’s earning more playing time, but hopefully he can find a way to have some consistent performances to keep that role.

Your Take

Which prospects stood out to you this week? How do you feel about the week’s that lesser known players like Jeremy Groleau, Mitchell Hoelscher, and Eetu Pakkila had? Leave your comments below and thank you for reading!