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New Jersey Devils Prospect Update: 10/29/19

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Week 4 of the 2019-20 prospect update saw Tyce Thompson continue his hot start to the NCAA season, Mitchell Hoelscher continue to lead the Ottawa 67’s in OHL play, and numerous Devils prospects get ready for exhibition tournaments.

NCAA HOCKEY: APR 11 Div I Men’s Frozen Four - Providence v Minnesota Duluth
Tyce Thompson has enjoyed a great start to his season for Providence, emerging as one of the most productive players this year.
Photo by Jerome Davis/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images

Week 4 of the 2019-20 prospect update is highlighted by the continued offensive production of Mitchell Hoelscher, Tyce Thompson, Arseni Gritsyuk, and Nikola Pasic. Nikita Okhotyuk and Ty Smith also gear up for the 2019 Canada Russia Series that begins in a week while Daniil Misyul and Arseni Gritsyuk prepare for the upcoming Four Nations tournament in Finland. Let’s take a look at how each prospect performed over the past week.

QMJHL

Xavier Bernard had a goal, -2, 4 PIM, and 9 shots across 3 games last week. Charlottetown suffered 2 injuries to their blue line and have utilized Bernard in a top pairing role this past week to help get them through this stretch.

OHL

Mitchell Hoelscher had 2 goals, +1, 2 PIM, 4 shots, and won 63.64% of his faceoffs across 2 games last week. He currently leads Ottawa with 8 goals after 13 games played.

Nikita Okhotyuk picked up his first points of the season since returning from injury. The defenseman had 2 assists, an even rating, 4 PIM, and 4 shots across 2 games this past week. It was announced on Wednesday that Okhotyuk would represent Russia at the 2019 Canada Russia Series. The 6 game series runs from Monday 11/4 to Thursday 11/14 and features the Russian team taking on Team QMJHL, Team OHL, and Team WHL.

Graeme Clarke is out long term following left shoulder surgery. It was reported that he was having that procedure done last Monday in New York.

Michael Vukojevic had 2 assists (1 EV, 1 PP), -2, 2 PIM, and a shot in 2 games last week for Kitchener.

WHL

Ty Smith had an assist, +1, 8 PIM, and 4 shots across 3 games last week. You can see his assist in the tweet below where he did a good job of gaining the zone and drawing defenders towards him to free up space for his teammates. Smith started off hot when he was sent to Spokane with 3 goals and 3 assists in his first 3 games. He has cooled off considerably though with just a goal and an assist in his last 7 games. Smith will be a key part of the WHL team in the Canada Russia Series. They take on Russia on Wednesday 11/13 and Thursday 11/14.

NCAA

Reilly Walsh and Harvard open their season on Friday against Dartmouth. That game will be broadcast on ESPN+ at 7 PM ET. Jason Scales of Inside Hockey has this season preview on Harvard. Here is some of what Harvard Coach Ted Donato had to say about Walsh:

“The obvious two guys that are the leaders back there, Reilly Walsh and Jack Rathbone,” said Donato when asked about this year’s crop of defensemen.

“The reality is that the two guys that left are both starting the season on NHL rosters, I don’t need to over-rate how impactful those two guys were for us, but looking forward there are guys that are excited for their opportunity. Reilly has shown that he’s very capable and has shown a big jump from year to year. We expect that again.”

Matt Hellickson had a PP goal, PP assist, -2, and 2 shots in 2 games against Lake Superior State last weekend to help Notre Dame remain undefeated. You can check out his goal in the tweet below. Notre Dame will take on Minnesota this weekend with Friday’s game being on the Big Ten Network at 8:30 PM ET.

Aarne Talvitie had an even rating and 3 shots in Penn State’s victory over Robert Morris this past Friday. You can see him in action when Penn State takes on Wisconsin on Thursday at 7 PM ET on Big Ten Network and on Friday at 6 PM ET also on Big Ten Network.

Tyce Thompson continued to have a very strong start to his season. This past weekend he had a PP goal, 2 assists, +1, 5 shots, and won 40% of his faceoffs across 2 games. He’s currently in a 4-way tie for 2nd place in scoring in the NCAA with 11 points in 6 games.

Patrick Moynihan had a PP goal, even rating, 2 PIM, and 6 shots across 2 games this past weekend. He’s off to a real nice start to his collegiate career with 5 points in 6 games and is averaging 3.33 shots per game. You can watch his most recent goal below:

Case McCarthy had an assist, -2, 2 PIM, and 2 shots in 2 games this past weekend.

USHL

Akira Schmid missed both of Omaha’s games this past week with a lower body injury. The team reports that he should return to action this week though.

Cole Brady made 36 saves on 38 shots in a loss to Chicago on Friday. The following night he made 26 saves on 33 shots in another loss to Chicago. 5 of the 7 goals he surrendered in that game came while his team was playing a man down.

Russia

KHL

MHL

Yegor Zaitsev had an assist, +2, 2 shots, and a block in 19:52 in Dynamo’s only game last week. It’s encouraging to see him continue to play a large role on the blue line for that team.

Daniil Misyul had an even rating while averaging 10:33 across 2 games last week for Lokomotiv. On Thursday, Misyul and fellow Devils prospect Arseni Gritsyuk were named to the U20 Russian National Team roster ahead of the Four Nations tournament in Finland. Training camp starts on 11/2 and the tournament starts on 11/8. It will go for three days as the U20 teams from Finland, Russia, Sweden, and the Czech Republic compete against each other.

Arseni Gritsyuk had a goal, assist, +3, and 10 shots while averaging 17:41 across 2 games last week. He’s back on a nice run with 3 goals and 4 assists over his last 5 games.

Finland & Sweden

Eetu Pakkila had an assist (EN), +2, and 3 shots in 14:21 in KOOVEE’s game on Saturday.

Nikola Pasic had a PP assist, -1, 2 shots, and averaged 15:31 across 3 games last week. He continues to lead U20 players in the Allsvenskan in scoring with 11 points after 14 games played.

Your Take

Which prospects stood out to you this week? What are your thoughts on Tyce Thompson’s hot start? What about the prospects that are about to compete in exhibition matches against other top players among their peers? Leave your comments below and thank you for reading!