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New Jersey Devils Prospect Update: 10/15/19

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Week 2 of the 2019-20 prospect update saw Mitchell Hoelscher and Graeme Clarke continue to shine for the Ottawa 67’s, Yegor Zaitsev continue to earn more ice time for Dynamo Moscow, and Nikola Pasic continue to produce for BIK Karlskoga.

OHL: SEP 29 Peterborough Petes at Ottawa 67’s
Graeme Clarke earned 4 more goals this week and leads the Ottawa 67’s with 7 goals so far this season.
Photo by Richard A. Whittaker/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images

The second week of prospect action for the 2019-20 season update is highlighted by the continued production of Mitchell Hoelscher, Graeme Clarke, and Nikola Pasic while Matt Hellickson and Aarne Talvitie get their NCAA seasons started off right. The European prospects such as Yegor Zaitsev and Nikola Pasic also continue to trend in the right direction. Let’s take a look and see how each prospect performed over the past week.

QMJHL

Xavier Bernard was a +2 with 8 PIM and 5 shots across 3 games last week as he continues to be a physical presence on the back end for Charlottetown.

OHL

Mitchell Hoelscher has continued to produce at a high pace for Ottawa, as he should in his age 20 season in the OHL. In 2 games of action this past week, Hoelscher compiled 2 goals, 3 assists, an even rating, 2 PIM, 8 shots, and won 43.24% of his faceoffs. Both of those goals came at even strength while all 3 assists were on the PP, with one of them being primary. He’s only been held without a point in 3 of his 9 games so far this season and currently has 8 points over his last 3 games. His 14 points in 9 games is enough to lead the 67’s in scoring at the moment.

Nikita Okhotyuk is still recovering from surgery on his right index finger. His timetable to return is 6-8 weeks from September 6.

Graeme Clarke, like Hoelscher, also enjoyed a strong week for Ottawa. Clarke had 4 goals, an assist, +2, and 7 shots across 2 games. He split his goals this week evenly between even strength and PP play. He currently leads the team with 7 goals, one ahead of Hoelscher.

Michael Vukojevic had 2 assists, an even rating, 2 PIM, and 4 shots across 3 games this past week for Kitchener. Both of his assists were at even strength in yesterday’s game against Sudbury. You can check out this rush he had up ice in that game that showcases his mobility.

WHL

Ty Smith’s second week back in the WHL wasn’t as noteworthy as his first. He was held without a point in 2 games this past week and finished with an even rating but did manage 6 shots. Hopefully he can pick up the pace again this upcoming week.

NCAA

Reilly Walsh and Harvard will open their season on November 1 when they take on Darmouth.

Matt Hellickson had a PP goal, -1, and 3 shots in 2 games for Notre Dame this past weekend as they swept their opening series against Air Force. As expected, Hellickson has seen himself become an all situations defenseman for Notre Dame to start his junior season. Great to see his season get off to a solid start.

Aarne Talvitie made his long awaited return to Penn State’s line up for their opening series against Sacred Heart. This was his first competitive action since suffering an ACL injury in the Gold Medal game of last year’s WJC. Talvitie wasted no time in making his presence known as he put up a goal, 2 assists, +2, and 1 shot across both games. One of those assist came on the PK as a primary helper. His promising freshman season was cut short but I’m expecting big things from him as a key part of Penn State’s offense in his sophomore season.

Tyce Thompson had an even rating, 2 shots, and won 6/13 faceoffs in Providence’s overtime loss to Holy Cross on Friday. The following night he had a PP assist, -1, and 2 shots in an exhibition victory over the USNTDP U18 team. He continues to center a line with fellow Devils prospect, Patrick Moynihan skating on his right wing.

Patrick Moynihan had an even rating, 2 PIM, and 6 shots against Holy Cross on Friday. The following night he had a PP goal, -1, and 3 shots against the USNTDP U18 team.

Case McCarthy and Boston University had this past week off from game action. They will resume their season this Friday when they take on Northern Michigan.

USHL

Akira Schmid made 23 saves on 28 shots in a loss to Lincoln on Saturday. He has alternated between Quality Starts and non-Quality Starts in this young season.

Cole Brady made 31 saves on 34 shots in a victory over Fargo on Friday. He has sandwiched his non-Quality Starts in-between his Quality ones so far this season.

Russia

KHL

MHL

Yegor Zaitsev continues to earn consistent minutes for Dynamo Moscow. In 3 games last week he had a PP goal, -1, 4 PIM, 5 shots, 4 blocks, and average ice time of 19:31 per game. On Saturday against Avtomobilist he played a season high 21:29. We’re only 15 games into his season, but his average ice time is up 2:44 per game which is an encouraging sign.

Daniil Misyul had a goal, +1, 5 PIM, 2 shots, a block, and average ice time of 10:06 across 3 games this past week. His fighting major came against former Devils prospect Patrice Cormier who know plays for Ak Bars Kazan. You can check that fight out below. Great to see that he’s willing to drop the gloves and take on a larger opponent. Before you watch that, check out what Alessandro Seren Rosso of McKeen’s had to say about Misyul in his Top Prospects to Watch in Russia season preview where he ranked the defender #12.

The physical defenseman is a great competitor and a player who plays bigger than his size. He needs to cut down penalties and become more involved in the offensive play – his production mostly lies on his cannon of a shot – but he has all the tools to develop into a capable NHL defenseman.

Arseni Gritsyuk seems to have hit a bit of a rough patch after a hot start. In 3 games last week he had no points, -1, 4 PIM, 8 shots, and averaged 18:58 per game. He now has no points in his last 4 games after starting the season with 12 points in his first 9 games. Hopefully he gets back on track this upcoming week.

Finland & Sweden

Eetu Pakkila had a goal, assist, +2, 10 shots, and averaged 12:56 per game in 3 matches for KOOVEE last week. Both of those points came against TUTO Hockey last Wednesday. Hopefully he can build upon that and start producing more consistently in the 2nd division in Finland.

Nikola Pasic had 3 assists, +1, 2 PIM, 5 shots, and averaged 16:02 per game across 2 games for BIK Karlskoga last week. All 3 of those assists came against Mora on Saturday with 2 of them coming on the PP. He’s currently tied for the lead in assists (4) and points (6) with Karl Jonsson for U20 players in the Allsvenskan.

Your Take

Which of these prospects stood out to you this week? How do you feel about the starts that Hoelscher, Clarke, and Pasic are having? What about the increased ice time for Zaitsev? Leave your comments below and thank you for reading!