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New Jersey Devils Prospect Update: 1/29/19

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Week 16 of the 2018-19 prospect update saw Jeremy Groleau, Mitchell Hoelscher, and Reilly Walsh have productive weeks while Jesper Boqvist and Mikhail Maltsev earned call-ups to their national teams.

2017 NHL Draft - Portraits
Reilly Walsh had another productive week for Harvard and continues to show why he is such a threat offensively.
Photo by Stacy Revere/Getty Images

The 16th week of the 2018-19 prospect update is here. It’s highlighted by Jeremy Groleau and Michell Hoelscher excelling at the junior level, Reilly Walsh continuing to be one of the best offensive threats from the blue line in college, and Jesper Boqvist and Mikhail Maltsev earn call-ups to their respective national teams.

QMJHL

Jocktan Chainey missed both of Halifax’s games this past week due to an upper body injury. He has now missed 13 straight games with his last appearance coming on 12/28/18. According to the Halifax Mooseheads website on Sunday, he is considered week-to-week with no exact timetable to return.

Xavier Bernard was a -2 with 5 shots in 2 games against Cape Breton this past week. In 13 games with Charlottetown since the trade from Drummondville, he has no goals, 3 assists, -7, 6 PIM, and 21 shots. He averaged 2.56 shots per game with Drummondville but has seen that rate drop to 1.75 with Charlottetown.

Jeremy Groleau had 2 goals, +4, and 8 shots in 3 games last week for Chicoutimi. Both of his goals came in a 2-1 victory over Halifax on Sunday and were just 22 seconds apart from each other. You can see his offensive skills on display in the highlight video below starting at the 0:33 mark:

OHL

Mitchell Hoelscher had a really productive 19th birthday week. In 3 games he had 2 goals, 3 assists, +5, 4 PIM, 4 shots, and won 57.5% of his faceoffs. Over his last 8 games he has 3 goals and 6 assists. According to Prospect-Stats, Hoelscher ranks 11th in the OHL with a 53.58 FO% (minimum 35+ GP and 650+ attempts). You can see his goal from Sunday’s game against Saginaw below:

WHL

Ty Smith has had an incredible season, but it appears he has hit his first real slump from a production standpoint. In 3 games last week he had no points, was a -3, but did have 15 shots. He now has no points over his last 4 games despite averaging 4.25 shots per game during that stretch. Smith still leads WHL defensemen in assists (45) and is 2nd in points (49). He trails Dawson Davidson by 2 points however Smith has played 12 less games. I find it somewhat interesting that Smith’s shooting at 3.77% while averaging 2.86 shots per game this season after shooting at 7.22% with an average of 2.81 shots per game last season. I expect Smith to start racking up the assists again in no time, but I wouldn’t be surprised if he starts to see a few more of these shots go in down the stretch as well.

NCAA

Jeremy Davies was a -5 with 2 PIM and 8 shots in 2 games against Providence this past weekend. He had 4 goals and 12 assists over his first 14 games of the season but has a goal and 2 assists over his past 8 games. He averaged 3.43 shots per game and shot at 8.33% during that initial 14 game stretch. He’s still getting his shots on goal over these past 8 games with an average of 3.88 shots per game but is shooting at just 3.23% in that 8 game sample. According to College Hockey Inc, his 3.59 shots per game rank 2nd in the NCAA among defensemen.

Reilly Walsh had another impressive weekend for Harvard. In 2 games he had 2 goals, an assist, +1, and 2 shots. His goal against Clarkson on Friday, which you can see below in the first tweet, was the game winning goal in overtime. His PP goal against St. Lawrence is in the second tweet. According to College Hockey Inc, his 6 PP goals rank 2nd among NCAA defensemen while his 0.58 PP points per game rate is tied for 4th.

Matt Hellickson had an assist, +2, and 3 shots in 2 games against Michigan State last weekend.

Aarne Talvitie is out for the rest of the season due to knee surgery. Penn State seems to really miss his presence in the line up as they were 11-5-1 with him and are now 3-5-1 without him. Penn State hockey reporter David Eckert noted Talvitie’s importance in this tweet:

USHL/NAHL

Akira Schmid made 39 saves on 44 shots in a loss to Waterloo on Thursday. 3 of the 5 goals he surrendered came on a Waterloo PP. He then made 23 saves on 26 shots in an overtime loss to Youngstown on Sunday. It appears the USHL website finally corrected the difference between his player page and the boxscore from an 11/24/18 game against Fargo, so now my spreadsheet reflects his official stats again.

Russia

KHL

VHL

MHL

Mikhail Maltsev had an even rating, 3 shots, and won 12/22 faceoffs in 17:07 in his only game of VHL action this past week. On Friday, Maltsev was named to the Russian squad to face Belarus and Slovakia on 2/8 and 2/9 respectively in Slovakia. This is essentially Russia’s “B” team.

Yegor Zaitsev had an even rating, 3 shots, and averaged 15:34 across 2 KHL games last week.

Nikita Popugaev had an even rating, 12 PIM, 3 shots, and averaged 6:04 across 4 KHL games last week. The 12 PIM came in yesterday’s game against Admiral Vladivostok after he was given a Checking to the Head penalty as well as a Misconduct.

Sweden & Finland

Jesper Boqvist had an assist, +2, 5 shots, and averaged 19:59 across 2 games this past week. His assist in Saturday’s game snapped a 6 game point drought. Yesterday, he was named to Sweden’s roster for the Beijer Hockey Games from 2/7-2/10. Sweden is scheduled to play the Czech Republic, Russia, and Finland in the mini tournament. He’ll join former New Jersey Devil Jacob Josefson on the roster.

Fabian Zetterlund is out for the season due to knee surgery.

Eetu Pakkila had 3 goals, an even rating, 13 shots, and averaged 18:13 across 2 game last week. Pakkila continues to lead his team in goals (30) and points (50). He continues to lead the Jr. A SM-liiga in goals and is 6th in points.

Switzerland

Gilles Senn made 34 saves on 35 shots in a victory over SCL Tigers on Sunday. He now has a .945 SV% over his last 3 starts though that dates back to 1/11. HC Davos has 13 games remaining in the regular season and will not be going to the playoffs. Hopefully he can perform well down the stretch to salvage what has been a difficult year. Also, they will be heading to the Relegation Playoffs and I’m sure Senn will want to be a key contributor to keeping the team in the top division.

Your Take

Which prospects stood out to you this week? Are you encouraged by the weeks that Jeremy Groleau and Mitchell Hoelscher had? What are your thoughts on Reilly Walsh as a prospect? Do you expect Jeremy Davies and Ty Smith to start racking up the points once again? Leave your comments below and thank you for reading!