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New Jersey Devils Prospect Update: 2/19/19

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Week 19 of the 2018-19 prospect update saw Nikita Popugaev sign with the Binghamton Devils, Ty Smith score a couple of goals, and the NCAA defense prospects have productive games.

2018 NHL Draft - Rounds 2-7
Xavier Bernard had 2 assists in 4 games as he continues to be an evolving presence on the Charlottetown blueline.
Photo by Bruce Bennett/Getty Images

The 19th week of the 2018-19 prospect update is here. It’s highlighted by Nikita Popugaev signing an AHL contract with Binghamton, Ty Smith showing off his scoring touch, Jeremy Davies and Reilly Walsh continuing to excel in college hockey, and Mikhail Maltsev score his first KHL goal.

QMJHL

Jocktan Chainey missed all 4 of Halifax’s games this past week due to an upper body injury. He has now missed 23 straight games with his last appearance coming on 12/28/18. Willy Palov of the Halifax Chronicle Herald tweeted on Thursday that Chainey is expected to be out another 1-2 weeks. Halifax has 11 games left in the regular season so hopefully he gets back sooner than later.

Xavier Bernard had 2 assists, +3, 4 PIM, and 2 shots in 4 games last week. He has now played in 22 games for Charlottetown since the trade and has put up 7 assists, 14 PIM, -9, and a 1.64 shots per game rate. In 32 games with Drummondville he had 5 goals, 11 assists, 59 PIM, +21, and a 2.56 shots per game rate. It’s always going to be harder to produce as much on an inferior team, but I am encouraged that he’s been keeping his physical game up and playing solid minutes for Charlottetown.

Jeremy Groleau had an assist, +1, 2 PIM, and 8 shots in 3 games last week.

OHL

Mitchell Hoelscher had 3 assists, +3, 2 PIM, 8 shots, and won 63.77% of his faceoffs in 4 games last week as he continues to anchor the best team in the OHL’s 3rd line. He picked up his 4th SH assist this past week which puts him in a 4-way tie for 3rd in the OHL.

WHL

Ty Smith had 2 PP goals, an assist, -2, 2 PIM, and 7 shots in 3 games last week. Both goals came against Red Deer last Tuesday and snapped a 12 game goal drought. You can check out both of his goals below:

NCAA

Jeremy Davies had 3 assists, +2, and 2 shots in 2 games against Vermont this past weekend. Davies is currently tied for 12th among NCAA defensemen in points per game at 0.89.

Reilly Walsh had a goal, assist, even rating, 2 PIM, and 6 shots in 2 games over the weekend for Harvard. You can check out his most recent goal in the tweet below. He has 3 goals and 8 assists over his last 9 games. Walsh currently ranks 7th among NCAA defensemen in points per game at 1.00. Corey Masisak of The Athletic has this great article about how Walsh has improved his game this season. It includes quotes from Walsh, Harvard head coach Ted Donato, and Devils assistant general manager Tom Fitzgerald. I highly recommend it if you have a subscription.

Matt Hellickson had 3 assists, +1, 2 PIM, and 6 shots in 3 games last week.

Aarne Talvitie is out for the rest of the season due to knee surgery.

USHL/NAHL

Akira Schmid made 21 saves on 23 shots in an overtime loss to Sioux City on Friday. He now has a .940 SV% over his last 12 games (9 starts) dating back to 11/24/18. His .921 SV% ranks 2nd in the USHL among qualified goaltenders.

Russia

KHL

VHL

MHL

Mikhail Maltsev had a goal, assist, +2, 3 shots, and won 44.44% of his faceoffs while averaging 10:46 per game across 3 KHL games last week. His goal against Spartak on Wednesday was his first career KHL goal.

Yegor Zaitsev had an even rating and a shot in 15:17 of one KHL game last week.

Nikita Popugaev was signed to an AHL contract by the Binghamton Devils last Tuesday. In 3 games with the team he has no points, -2, 0 PIM, and 2 shots. Chris Ryan of NJ.com has this article on how Popugaev ultimately landed with Binghamton at this point in the season. Be sure to keep up with Jeff’s Binghamton Devils updates to track how Popugaev is doing in the AHL.

Sweden & Finland

Jesper Boqvist had 2 goals, -2, 2 PIM, and 5 shots while averaging 17:30 across 3 games last week. He’s currently 2nd on his team in points (28). He’s tied for 2nd in points among U21 players in the SHL, one point behind the leader Emil Bemstrom, though Boqvist has 5 more games played.

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

Eetu Pakkila was a -1 with 9 shots in 22:32 in his only game action of last week. He continues to lead his team in goals (32) and points (52). That goal total is still good for the lead in the Jr. A SM-liiga.

Switzerland

Gilles Senn made 23 saves on 28 shots in a loss to EV Zug last Tuesday. He missed Friday’s game due to illness.

Your Take

Which prospects stood out to you this week? How do you feel about Popugaev signing with Binghamton? What about the steady season Schmid is putting together in the USHL? What other performances stood out to you this week? Leave your comments below and thank you for reading!