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New Jersey Devils Prospect Update: 3/5/19

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Week 21 of the 2018-19 prospect update saw impressive performances from Akira Schmid and Jesper Boqvist while Mikhail Maltsev and Yegor Zaitsev started their Gagarin Cup quests.

Finland v Switzerland: Semifinals - 2019 IIHF World Junior Championship
Akira Schmid has quietly become one of the top goaltenders in the USHL.
Photo by Rich Lam/Getty Images

The 21st week of the 2018-19 prospect update is here. It’s highlighted by Jeremy Groleau moving to the growing injured list of Devils prospects, Jeremy Davies earn a one game suspension, Akira Schmid once again excel in USHL play, Mikhail Maltsev and Yegor Zaitsev start their Gagarin Cup Playoffs, and Jesper Boqvist continue to be one of the top U21 players in the SHL.

QMJHL

Jocktan Chainey missed all 3 of Halifax’s games this past week due to an upper body injury. He has now missed 28 straight games with his last appearance coming on 12/28/18. An update from 2 weeks ago mentioned that Chainey would probably be out 2 more weeks, so I’m hoping he will come back for this upcoming weekend’s games. Halifax has 6 games left in their regular season which ends on 3/16. They have clinched a playoff spot and currently sit as the 3rd best team in the league. They will also be hosting the Memorial Cup in May.

Xavier Bernard was a +1 with 6 shots across 3 games last week for Charlottetown. He also had another big hit that you can see in the tweet below. Charlottetown have clinched a playoff spot and sit as the 7th best team in the league.

Jeremy Groleau missed all 3 of Chicoutimi’s games this past week after suffering a shoulder injury against Drummondville on 2/24. According to Stephane Leroux of RDS, Maxime Comtois was given a 3 game suspension for the hit that caused the injury. Anthony Toupin reported on 2/26 that Groleau is expected to miss the next 2 to 4 weeks. Chicoutimi has 6 regular season games left with the final game coming on 3/16. They have clinched a playoff spot and currently sit as the 9th best team in the league.

OHL

Mitchell Hoelscher had a -2, 2 shots, and won 53.66% of his faceoffs across 3 games last week. Ottawa has clinched a playoff spot as the top team in the Eastern Conference and as of right now, the top team in the OHL.

WHL

Ty Smith had 4 assists (2 EV, 2 PP), +1, 4 PIM, and 8 shots across 4 games last week. You can check out his assists on the game winning goal in overtime from last Tuesday’s game against Prince George in the tweet below. Spokane has clinched a playoff spot and is currently the 3rd seed in the US Division of the Western Conference.

NCAA

Jeremy Davies had an assist, -2, 17 PIM, and 2 shots in Northeastern’s loss to Boston College on Friday. He would be suspended one game and miss Saturday’s contest against BC due to an elbowing incident towards the end of Friday’s game. Northeastern will conclude their regular season play on Friday against New Hampshire. They are currently tied for 2nd in the Hockey East standings with 29 points in 23 conference games.

If you have a subscription to The Athletic then I highly recommend checking out Corey Masisak’s article on how Jeremy Davies has developed over the past few years and his relationship with the Devils.

Reilly Walsh had a goal, +2, and 8 shots in 2 games last week. He hasn’t had back to back games without a point since January and now has 6 goals and 9 assists over his last 13 games. Harvard has concluded their regular season and finished 4th in the ECAC. They have an automatic bye to the Quarterfinals of the ECAC Tournament which will be from March 15-17. Nathan Fournier of USCHO.com had this article about Harvard’s defensemen which includes quotes from Harvard coach Ted Donato and Walsh:

“Reilly has really worked on his game and he’s taking on his own initiative to become a more well-rounded defenseman,” Harvard coach Ted Donato said. “I think his comfort level the way he plays defensively has freed him up offensively to be creative and make some plays off the rush or on the power play.”

“I have been staying with what has gotten me here,” Walsh said. “Obviously, it’s nice to play with Fox on the power play – he sees the ice amazingly well. I am just kind of sticking with it, practicing my shot and all that stuff during practice. I just keep my focus and positive throughout the season.”

Matt Hellickson had a goal, -1, 2 PIM, and 2 shots in 2 games this past weekend. You can check out the goal in the tweet below. Notre Dame has concluded regular season action and finished 2nd in the Big Ten. They will take on 7th seeded Michigan State in the Big Ten Quarterfinals this upcoming weekend.

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

USHL/NAHL

Akira Schmid made 35 saves on 38 shots in a loss to Des Moines on Thursday. He earned a victory on Friday against Lincoln by making 24 saves on 25 shots. The following night, also against Lincoln, he stopped all 13 shots he faced in 21:09 of relief. He is now tied for 1st among qualified goaltenders with a .925 SV%. Schmid has a .940 SV% over his last 18 games (13 starts). He’s been very consistent with 10 Quality Starts over those 13 starts during this impressive stretch.

Russia

KHL

VHL

MHL

Mikhail Maltsev and SKA St. Petersburg started the Gagarin Cup Playoffs this past week. SKA is the 2nd seed in the Western Conference and is taking on 7th seeded Spartak Moscow. The Quarterfinal series is currently tied 2-2. Maltsev has appeared in 3 games with no points, -1, 2 PIM, 5 shots, 70.0 FO%, and an average ice time of 9:49.

Yegor Zaitsev and Dynamo Moscow actually opened up their Quarterfinal series last Monday. Dynamo is the 5th seed in the Western Conference and is taking on 4th seeded Jokerit. Dynamo currently leads the series 3-1. Zaitsev has no points in the series so far and is a -3 with 0 PIM, 2 shots, and an average ice time of 14:22.

Sweden & Finland

Jesper Boqvist had a goal, 3 assists, -1, 2 shots, and averaged 21:02 across 3 games last week for Brynäs IF. He leads his team in scoring with 33 points in 47 games. He’s tied with Oskar Steen (33 points in 42 games) for the scoring lead among U21 players in the SHL. He also leads U21 SHL players with 20 assists. Boqvist now has 11 points over his last 12 games.

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

Eetu Pakkila had 2 goals, an assist, +1, 15 shots, won 1/2 faceoffs, and avearged 21:18 across 2 games last week. If I have navigated the Finnish website correctly, I believe the Kärpät U20 has completed their regular season. It appears they are the 2nd seed for the playoffs and have advanced to the Semifinals where they will play one of the wildcard round winners.

Switzerland

Gilles Senn made 27 saves on 31 shots in a loss to HC Ambri Piotta on Friday. He earned a victory in HC Davos’ final regular season game against EHC Biel-Bienne yesterday by making 21 saves on 22 shots. They finished 11th in the 12 team National League and will advance to the Relegation Playouts.

Your Take

Which prospects stood out to you this week? Are you encouraged by Schmid’s quietly strong season in the USHL? What about the job that Boqvist and Pakkila have done for their teams? Leave your comments below and thank you for reading!