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New Jersey Devils Prospect Update: 3/26/19

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Week 24 of the 2018-19 prospect update saw the CHL playoffs get underway, the NCAA conference tournaments wrap up ahead of the NCAA Tournament, and the European postseason carry on for a number of Devils’ prospects.

Chicoutimi Sagueneens v Quebec Remparts
Jeremy Groleau has made it back in time for Chicoutimi’s playoff run in the QMJHL.
Photo by Mathieu Belanger/Getty Images

The 24th week of the 2018-19 prospect update is here. It’s highlighted by all of the Devils CHL prospects playing in postseason action, Jeremy Davies and Matt Hellickson helping their team’s win their conferences in NCAA action, Yegor Zaitsev’s KHL season come to an end, and Akira Schmid’s continued strong play in the USHL.

QMJHL

Jocktan Chainey was a +1 with 2 PIM and 2 shots in 2 games for Halifax last week. #1 Halifax trails their Eastern Conference Quarterfinal series 2-0 to #8 Quebec.

Playoff Stats: 2 GP 0-0-0, +1, 2 PIM, 2 Shots

Xavier Bernard was a -1 with 2 PIM and 2 shots in 2 games for Charlottetown last week. #4 Charlottetown leads their Eastern Conference Quarterfinal series 2-0 over #5 Cape Breton.

Playoff Stats: 2 GP 0-0-0, -1, 2 PIM, 2 Shots

Jeremy Groleau has made it back in time for Chicoutimi’s playoff run. He previously had been out of action since suffering a shoulder injury on 2/24. Groleau played in both of Chicoutimi’s games this past week putting up an even rating and 3 shots. #6 Chicoutimi is down 2-0 in their Eastern Conference Quarterfinal series against #3 Rimouski.

Playoff Stats: 2 GP 0-0-0, E, 0 PIM, 3 Shots

OHL

Mitchell Hoelscher had a SH goal, assist, +1, 3 shots, and a 56.75 FO% in 2 games last week for Ottawa. #1 Ottawa leads their Eastern Conference Quarterfinal series 2-0 over #8 Hamilton. It appears the NHL Network will air Game 4 of this series on tape delay at 9:00 AM ET on Thursday 3/28 according to my TV guide. The actual game will take place at 7:00 PM ET the night before. You can check out his goal below:

Playoff Stats: 2 GP 1-1-2, +1, 0 PIM, 3 Shots, 56.75 FO%

WHL

Ty Smith had 2 PP assists, an even rating, and 4 shots in 2 games last week for Spokane. #U2 Spokane is currently tied 1-1 with #U3 Portland in their Western Conference Quarterfinal series. Last Wednesday, the WHL announced that Smith has been named Western Conference Defenseman of the Year.

Playoff Stats: 2 GP 0-2-2, E, 0 PIM, 4 Shots

NCAA

Jeremy Davies was a +2 with 3 shots as he helped #3 Northeastern to a 2-1 overtime win over #5 Boston University in a Hockey East Semifinal on Friday. On Saturday he had a PP assist, even rating, and 6 PIM as #3 Northeastern defeated #7 Boston College in the Hockey East Championship to cap off a great week for the defenseman. Last Wednesday, Davies was named to the Hockey East First-Team All-Stars for the second year in a row. He was also named to the Hockey East All-Tournament Team.

Northeastern is the #2 seed in the East region of the NCAA Tournament and will take on #3 Cornell at 4:30 PM ET on ESPNews this Saturday. Should they win that game, they would take on the winner of #1 Minnesota State vs. #4 Providence on Sunday on ESPN2 at 4:00 PM ET. Be sure to check College Hockey Inc’s schedule for times and TV listings.

Reilly Walsh was a -4 with 2 shots in #4 Harvard’s ECAC Semifinal loss to #3 Clarkson on Friday. Harvard is the #4 seed in the Northeast region of the NCAA Tournament and will take on #1 UMass on Friday at 3:00 PM ET on ESPN2.

Matt Hellickson was a -2 with a shot in #2 Notre Dame’s 3-2 victory over #4 Penn State in Saturday’s Big Ten Championship game. Notre Dame is the #3 seed in the Northeast region of the NCAA Tournament and will take on #2 Clarkson on Friday at 6:30 PM ET on ESPNU. The Northeast regional final is on Saturday at 6:30 PM ET on ESPNU.

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

USHL/NAHL

Akira Schmid made 34 saves on 36 shots in a loss to Sioux City on Friday. He then made 35 saves on 37 shots in a victory over Sioux Falls on Sunday. His .932 SV% continues to lead the USHL and his Quality Start% is now over 70% which is absolutely excellent.

Russia

KHL

VHL

MHL

Mikhail Maltsev was a -2 with 3 shots and won 10/17 faceoffs while averaging around 12 minutes per game across 2 playoff games last week. #2 SKA won their Western Conference Semifinal series 4-1 over #3 Lokomotiv. They will take on #1 CSKA in the Western Conference Final. It appears that 11Sports may be carrying the opening game of the Western Conference Final on Thursday at 2:00 PM ET - though you can’t always trust their listings.

Playoff Stats: 10 GP 1-2-3, -1, 6 PIM, 4.2 SH%, 2.4 SH/GP, 60.7 FO%, 10:41 ATOI

Yegor Zaitsev had a goal, +1, shot, and averaged just under 11 minutes per game across 2 playoff games last week. Unfortunately, #5 Dynamo fell 4-1 in their Western Conference Semifinal series against #1 CSKA. His VHL team didn’t make the playoffs so his club season is over. His contract with Dynamo expires on 4/30/19 so we’ll have to see if he’ll re-sign with the club or try to make the move to North America. He turns 21 on 5/3/19 and has made solid progress to establish himself as a regular KHL player this past season. In the meantime, you can check out his goal from this past week below:

Playoff Stats: 11 GP 2-0-2, -1, 4 PIM, 25.0 SH%, 0.7 SH/GP, 12:22 ATOI

Sweden & Finland

As expected, Jesper Boqvist was called up to Sweden’s national team for their upcoming exhibition games against Slovakia and Hungary before the World Hockey Championship. Chris Ryan of NJ.com has this article with quotes from Devils’ Director of Amateur Scouting Paul Castron about Boqvist’s development and his potential to come over and contribute next season.

Fabian Zetterlund is out for the season due to knee surgery. I apologize for forgetting to link to this last week (though credit to snwbdgislife for mentioning it in the comments), it appears that Zetterlund is a candidate to make the move to North America next season. Devils Assistant GM Tom Fitzgerald has already mentioned it in an interview with MSG. Hockey Sverige has this article that talks about how Färjestad is already preparing for their future should they lose him.

Eetu Pakkila had a goal, assist, even rating, 12 shots, and averaged 18:36 across 2 games last week. Kärpät U20 is up 2-0 over Pelicans U20 in their best of 5 Semifinal series.

Playoff Stats: 5 GP 2-1-3, +1, 2 PIM, 4.16 SH%, 4.80 SH/GP, 18:27 ATOI

Switzerland

Gilles Senn and HC Davos will take on SC Rapperswil-Jona Lakers in the Playout Final which is set to begin today.

Your Take

Which prospects stood out to you this week? What are your expectations for the NCAA Tournament? Which prospects are you hoping to see signed this summer? Leave your comments below and thank you for reading!