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New Jersey Devils Prospect Update: 4/23/19

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Week 28 of the 2018-19 prospect update saw Mitchell Hoelscher stay red hot for Ottawa in the OHL playoffs, Gilles Senn sign an entry level contract, and news break that Akira Schmid will return to Omaha of the USHL for next season.

Halifax Mooseheads v Blainville-Boisbriand Armada
Jocktan Chainey will need to be signed to an ELC by June 1. He is in the middle of a deep playoff run with Halifax in the QMJHL. Regardless, they will be in the Memorial Cup in May as they host the event.
Photo by Minas Panagiotakis/Getty Images

The 28th and final week of the 2018-19 prospect update is here. It’s highlighted by Mitchell Hoelscher continuing to put up a point in every single playoff game for Ottawa, Jocktan Chainey and Ty Smith continue to play for their CHL teams in postseason action, Gilles Senn signing an ELC with the Devils, and a report come out that Akira Schmid will return to Omaha of the USHL next season. While this is the final prospect update for the 2018-19 season, we are about to start our 2019 NHL Draft Prospect Profile series. Please stay tuned to that as we identify and profile prospects that could be available for the Devils across all 7 rounds of the draft this June.

QMJHL

Jocktan Chainey had a PP assist, -4, and a shot in #3 Halifax’s opening 2 games of the President’s Cup Semifinals against #2 Drummondville. So far the series is split at 1-1. You can check out his assist below. I should also add that the Devils only have his contract rights until June 1. I’d expect them to get an ELC signed before that deadline when Chainey has a gap between a playoff series. Halifax is hosting the Memorial Cup this season from May 17 to May 26 so it’s still a busy time for Chainey no matter what happens in this series. Check out Cap Friendly if you want to see the Devils full reserve list and what deadlines exist for signing some of these prospects.

Playoff Stats: 13 GP 2-2-4, -2, 4 PIM, 14.3 SH%, 1.27 SH/GP

Xavier Bernard Final Playoff Stats: 6 GP 0-1-1, -3, 8 PIM, 0.0 SH%, 1.0 SH/GP

Jeremy Groleau Final Playoff Stats: 4 GP 0-1-1, E, 4 PIM, 0.0 SH%, 1.75 SH/GP

OHL

Mitchell Hoelscher has continued to be a difference maker for Ottawa. In 3 games last week he put up 2 goals, 2 assists (1 SH), +2, 2 PIM, 6 shots, and won 66% of his faceoffs. #1 Ottawa is out to a 3-0 lead over #3 Oshawa in their Eastern Conference Finals series and is close to a third consecutive sweep. Hoelscher has now put up at least a point in all 11 playoff games and is on a 12 game point streak if you count the regular season finale. You can check out his goal from Game 2 where he starts a nice rush up ice and finishes off a beautiful passing sequence below. I’d be shocked if they don’t at least win the OHL title to qualify for the Memorial Cup. It seems like they’ve been favorites to win the Memorial Cup for the entire season now.

Playoff Stats: 11 GP 6-6-12, +15, 2 PIM, 27.27 SH%, 2.00 SH/GP, 55.77 FO%

WHL

Ty Smith was a -1 with 4 shots in 2 games last week. #U2 Spokane now trails #B1 Vancouver 2-0 in the Western Conference Finals. Though he may not be producing points at his regular season rate, it’s important to note that he’s been logging a lot of minutes, which at this point in the season could be affecting his offensive output.

Playoff Stats: 12 GP 1-7-8, +3, 6 PIM, 3.45 SH%, 2.42 SH/GP

NCAA

USHL/NAHL

Last Tuesday, Corey Masisak reported that Akira Schmid will return to Omaha of the USHL next season. I like this move for both Schmid and the Devils. It gives him the chance to play a full season of hockey in a league that he found a lot of success in this past season from November to April. Getting plenty of ice time in a challenging but familiar environment seems like the right move at this moment in time. He turns 19 on May 12 and has plenty of time to develop. The Devils don’t need to rush him given his age, his contract right’s status that allows them to be patient, and the depth of young goaltenders they have in front of him with the likes of Mackenzie Blackwood, Evan Cormier, and Gilles Senn. I look forward to seeing if he can dominate the USHL over the course of a full season in 2019-20.

Russia

KHL

VHL

MHL

Mikhail Maltsev Final Playoff Stats: 17 GP 1-2-3, -6, 6 PIM, 3.0 SH%, 1.9 SH/GP, 56.1 FO%, 11:09 ATOI

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

Sweden & Finland

Jesper Boqvist will hopefully be a member of Sweden’s team at the World Hockey Championship from 5/10 to 5/26 in Slovakia. You can check out his first goal for Sweden in the tweet below.

As expected, Fabian Zetterlund missed the rest of the season due to knee surgery. Färjestad BK fell 4-3 in the league Semifinals against Djurgårdens IF. Zetterlund turns 20 on August 25 and his contract with Färjestad BK only ran through this season. I wouldn’t be surprised if the Devils brought him over this summer to get used to North American hockey. His physical, pro-style game should transition well in my opinion.

Eetu Pakkila Final Playoff Stats: 11 GP 3-2-5, -1, 2 PIM, 4.5 SH%, 6.0 SH/GP, 18:35 ATOI

Switzerland

Last Wednesday, the New Jersey Devils announced that they have signed Gilles Senn to a two-year, entry-level contract. Cap Friendly who initially broke the news and has the contract details. Look for him to compete for playing time in Binghamton next season as he takes the next step in his career. John had this post on the signing last Tueday night before the news became official.

Your Take

Which prospects stood out to you this week? How do you feel about the Gilles Senn signing? What about Akira Schmid returning to Omaha for another season of USHL hockey in 2019-20? Please stay tuned for our 2019 Draft Prospect Profile series. Leave your comments below and thank you for reading!