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New Jersey Devils Prospect Update: 12/10/19

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This week’s action includes productive displays from Tyce Thompson and Michael Vukojevic, Ty Smith be joined by 3 other Devils prospects in being named to pre-WJC camp rosters, and Eetu Pakkila make his return to Liiga.

2019 NHL Draft - Portraits
Michael Vukojevic has been a steady presence on the Kitchener blue line this season but also showcased his offensive skills this past week with a goal and 4 assists in 3 games.
Photo by Kevin Light/Getty Images

The 10th week of the 2019-20 New Jersey Devils Prospect Update saw Tyce Thompson go to the top of the NCAA leaderboard in goals, Michael Vukojevic have the most productive week of his OHL season so far, and numerous Devils prospects be named to pre-WJC camp rosters. Let’s take a look at how each prospect performed this past week.

QMJHL

Xavier Bernard had an even rating, 8 PIM, and 6 shots across 3 games last week for Charlottetown.

OHL

Mitchell Hoelscher had a SH goal, assist, +2, 2 PIM, 3 shots, and won 57.50% of his faceoffs as Ottawa defeated their rivals from the QMJHL, the Gatineau Olympiques in 2 games this past week to clinch another Alexandra Cup.

Nikita Okhotyuk has continued to be sidelined since leaving Ottawa’s game vs. Oshawa on 11/8 in the 2nd period with an injury.

Graeme Clarke is out long term following left shoulder surgery.

Michael Vukojevic had a goal, 4 assists (3 EV, 1 EN), +2, 4 PIM, and 5 shots across 3 games last week for Kitchener. All 4 of those assists came against Oshawa on Friday. Vukojevic was also named Midwest Division Academic Player of the Month for November:

New Jersey Devils prospect Michael Vukojevic has earned the title of OHL Midwest Division Academic Player of the Month for November. Following his first few months studying psychology and sociology at Wilfrid Laurier University, Vukojevic is described as an energetic, thoughtful student and has received praise for his ability to ‘take suggestions and run with them’ in different situations.

“Michael has a strong ability to balance his hockey and educational career with a positive attitude,” said Dave Tennant, the Rangers’ academic advisor. “He excels not only in the classroom but helping to teach and guide in the community by joining the Rangers on various community initiatives.”

WHL

Ty Smith had a PP assist, +1, 2 PIM, and 5 shots across 3 games last week for Spokane. He will now go join Canada’s WJC Selection Camp this week in Oakville, Ontario as they prepare for the upcoming tournament. You can check out his assist below:

NCAA

Reilly Walsh continued to produce for Harvard offensively but was unable to help them earn a victory in any of their 3 games this past week. He finished with 2 goals (1 EV, 1 SH), 2 assists (both PP), -4, 2 PIM, and 8 shots. Let’s take a look at a highlight and lowlight from this past week for Walsh:

Matt Hellickson was a -3 with a shot as Notre Dame lost both of their games against Boston College this past weekend. Notre Dame has now lost 5 games in a row and Hellickson hasn’t had a point in 10 games.

Aarne Talvitie was a -2 with 3 shots and won 52.38% of his faceoffs as Penn State split a weekend series against Michigan. He now has no points over his last 3 games and just one assist over his last 6 games. It appears that SNY will be carrying Penn State’s game against Notre Dame on Friday at 7:00 PM ET and the second game of the series on Saturday at 6:00 PM ET.

Tyce Thompson had a PP goal, 2 assists (1 EV, 1 PP), +1, 8 shots, and won 47.62% of his faceoffs across 2 games last weekend for Providence. He is now tied for the lead in goals in the NCAA with 13 goals. You can check out his most recent goal below:

Patrick Moynihan had a PP goal, even rating, and 5 shots across 2 games last weekend for Providence.

Case McCarthy had an assist, +3, and 2 shots as Boston University defeated Harvard and Northeastern 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 13 games in a row since being injured on 10/19. In positive news, Schmid was named to the Swiss preliminary WJC camp roster and will be with them all week. Hopefully he’s healthy enought to play in one of their 2 exhibitions this upcoming weekend.

Cole Brady made 23 saves on 25 shots in a loss to Tri-City on Friday. The earned the win over Tri-City the following night with 27 saves on 30 shots. His .906 SV% ranks 5th among qualified USHL goaltenders.

Russia

KHL

VHL/MHL

Yegor Zaitsev was a +1 with 4 shots while averaging 14:06 per game across 3 games last week for Dynamo.

Daniil Misyul was a -1 with 4 shots while averaging 9:04 per game across 3 games last week for Lokomotiv. Misyul was named to Russia’s pre-WJC camp roster.

Arseni Gritsyuk was back in MHL action as his junior team returned from a break. In 4 games last week he had a PP goal, 4 assists (2 EV, 2 PP), +3, 11 shots, and averaged 21:04 per game.

Finland & Sweden

Eetu Pakkila turned in a successful stint in the Mestis to a return to Liiga with Ilves. Playing his first top flight games since the end of September, Pakkila had a SH goal, +1, and 6 shots while averaging 9:58 per game across 3 games. Hopefully he can prove he belongs at this top level and contributes for Ilves going forward.

Nikola Pasic had a goal, 2 assists (1 EV, 1 PP), +1, and 2 shots while averaging 14:13 per game across 2 games last week. He is on a 4 game scoring streak with 2 goals and 4 assists during that stretch. He’s now in the top 5 in scoring for BIK Karlskoga with 23 points in 26 games. That total is also enough to continue to lead U20 players in scoring in the Allsvenskan. As expected, Pasic was named to Sweden’s pre-WJC camp roster.

Your Take

Which of these players stood out to you this week? Which prospects are you looking forward to watching in the upcoming World Junior Championship? Leave your comments below and thank you for reading!