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New Jersey Devils Prospect Update: 11/19/19

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This week’s prospect action features the productive play of Mitchell Hoelscher, Reilly Smith, Aarne Talvitie, Tyce Thompson, Cole Brady, Eetu Pakkila, and Nikola Pasic.

New Jersey Devils Prospect Headshots
Cole Brady has been putting together a strong November for Fargo in the USHL.
Photo by Andy Marlin/NHLI via Getty Images

The 7th week of the 2019-20 New Jersey Devils prospect update saw Mitchell Hoelscher continue to be a leader for Ottawa in OHL action, the Devils have a number of collegiate players stand out with strong performances, Cole Brady settle in nicely in the crease for Fargo in the USHL, and Eetu Pakkila continue to have a productive loan stint in the Mestis. Let’s take a look at how each prospect performed this past week.

QMJHL

Xavier Bernard was a +1 with 6 PIM and 4 shots across 3 games last week for Charlottetown.

OHL

Mitchell Hoelscher had 3 goals (2 EV, 1 PP), an even rating, 2 PIM, 8 shots, and won 50% of his faceoffs across 3 games last week for Ottawa. He leads his team and is tied for 7th in the league in goals with 15 so far this season. He continues to make a strong case to earn an ELC from the Devils this spring.

Nikita Okhotyuk has continued to be sidelined since leaving Ottawa’s game vs. Oshawa on 11/8 in the 2nd period with an injury. I haven’t been able to track down a further update just yet.

Graeme Clarke is out long term following left shoulder surgery.

Michael Vukojevic scored his first goal of the season and was a -1 with 5 shots in 2 games last week for Kitchener.

WHL

Ty Smith had 2 PP assists, an even rating, 4 PIM, and 4 shots as Team WHL split their 2 games against Russia in the Canada Russia Series. The CHL teams and Russia split the series but the CHL took home the trophy by winning a shootout. Check out Smith accepting the trophy:

NCAA

Reilly Walsh had a very productive weekend for Harvard. On Friday against Brown he put up a PP goal, assist, +1, and 5 shots. The following night against Yale he had a PP goal, assist, +3, and a shot. You can check out his goal against Yale below:

Matt Hellickson was a -1 with 2 PIM and a shot in 2 games for Notre Dame last weekend.

Aarne Talvitie had another productive weekend for Penn State. On Friday against Minnesota he had a goal, 2 assists, +3, 6 shots, and won 17/21 faceoffs. The following night he had an even rating, 3 shots, and won 5/11 faceoffs. He is currently tied for 2nd on Penn State in scoring with 12 points in 11 games.

Tyce Thompson is another one of the Devils college prospects doing very well this in the early part of the season. On Friday against Northeastern he had a goal, assist, +3, 3 shots, and won 2/4 faceoffs. The following night he had a PP assist, -4, 2 PIM, 3 shots, and won 3/5 faceoffs. Keep in mind that not every team has played the same amount of games yet, but as of right now, Thompson ranks tied for 1st in goals (9) and 2nd in points (19) among all NCAA players.

Patrick Moynihan has been playing a little bit of a lesser role for Providence as you would expect for freshman. He’s still proved to be a threat on the PP notching his 4th PP goal and 7th PP point of the season this past weekend. Across the 2 games he had that PP goal with a -2 rating and 4 shots. His 4 PP goals rank tied for 1st among all freshman so far this season alongside names like Alex Turcotte and Cole Caufield.

Case McCarthy was a -2 with 2 shots in 2 games against UMass this past weekend.

USHL

Akira Schmid missed both of Omaha’s games last week due to a “lower body injury” that has him on the IR. He has now missed 7 games in a row since being injured on 10/19.

Cole Brady had an impressive week for Fargo. On Thursday he made 29 saves on 30 shots to earn the victory over Madison. He followed that up the next night with 23 saves on 25 shots in another victory over Madison. He is now 3-1 in 4 starts in November with a .943 SV% during that stretch.

Russia

KHL

MHL

Yegor Zaitsev had a busy week since returning from international play, appearing in 4 games for Dynamo. He finished with a -2, 6 shots, 3 blocks, and average ice time of 13:03. He did average 16:02 across the first 3 games before playing just 4:06 in yesterday’s game. I’ll be keeping an eye out to see if that was due to performance or injury.

Daniil Misyul had an even rating and one shot in 8:52 of his only game action in the KHL last Tuesday. His EliteProspects page seems to indicate he may have been sent down to the MHL (juniors). That would afford him the opportunity to develop against his peers and play more minutes so it’s certainly something to keep an eye out for.

Arseni Gritsyuk had a quiet week by his standards. Over 4 games he had a goal, assist, +2, 8 PIM, 12 shots, and averaged 20:10 per game.

Finland & Sweden

Eetu Pakkila has quietly continued to find his form in the Mestis while being on loan to KOOVEE. This past week he had 2 goals, +1, 7 shots, and averaged 14:53 per game across 2 games. He now has 2 goals and 6 assists over his last 7 games. Pakkila is currently tied for 4th among scoring for U21 players in the Mestis with 10 points in 14 games.

Nikola Pasic had 2 PP assists, -1, 2 shots, and averaged 12:14 across 2 games last week after returning from international play. He continues to lead U20 players in the Allsvenskan with 16 points in 19 games. To rewind just a bit, here is what Jokke Nevalainen of Dobber Prospects had to say about Pasic’s play during the recent U20 Four Nations Tournament:

Pasic played on the top line and ran the second power play unit. He had a strong start to the tournament, scoring two goals in the first game. But he only had one secondary assist after that, and the whole line seemed to lose its effectiveness. Pasic is very likely to be on the final WJC roster, and if he’s put on a line with the right kind of linemates, he could have a very good tournament there. But this tournament was a bit up-and-down for him.

Your Take

Which prospects stood out to you this week? How about on the season so far? Which players are you excited about and which do you want to see more from? Leave your comments below and thank you for reading!