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New Jersey Devils Prospect Update: 1/21/20

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This week’s action is highlighted by productive play by Xavier Bernard, Mitchell Hoelscher, Ty Smith, and the return of Akira Schmid.

Ottawa 67s v London Knights
Mitchell Hoelscher continues his impressive season with an 8 point week across 3 games that led to him earning OHL Player of the Week honors.
Photo by Tom Szczerbowski/Getty Images

The 16th week of the 2019-20 New Jersey Devils prospect update featured Xavier Bernard producing for his new team, Mitchell Hoelscher earning OHL Player of the Week honors, Ty Smith making an immediate impact in his return to Spokane, Tyce Thompson continuing to be among the NCAA leaders, and Akira Schmid make his return to game action for the first time in months. Let’s take a look to see how each prospect performed over the past week.

QMJHL

Xavier Bernard had 4 assists (3 primary, 1 secondary), +7, 2 PIM, and a shot across 3 games last week for Sherbrooke. In 11 games so far for the team, Bernard has 5 assists, +11, 8 PIM, and 20 shots.

OHL

It should come as no surprise that Mitchell Hoelscher continues to be an important veteran for Ottawa. This past week he had 5 goals (1 EV, 2 PP, 1 SH, 1 EN), 3 assists (2 PP, 1 SH), +4, 14 shots, and won 48% of his faceoffs across 3 games. He was named OHL Player of the Week for this string of strong performances. Hoelscher has been particularly strong over his last 8 games with 8 goals and 10 assists during that stretch. You can check out one of his latest goals below:

Nikita Okhotyuk had an assist, +1, 7 PIM, and 8 shots across 3 games last week. Below you can see a nice check and fight by the physical defenseman from Ottawa’s game against Oshawa:

Graeme Clarke is out long term following left shoulder surgery.

Kevin Bahl was a +2 with 13 PIM and 4 shots across 3 games last week. Here is a huge hit that led to a fight against Hamilton:

Michael Vukojevic had an assist, +4, 2 PIM, and 6 shots across 3 games.

WHL

Ty Smith had an impressive week for Spokane with 2 goals, 2 assists (1 EV, 1 PP), +2, 2 PIM, and 7 shots across 3 games. This brings his post-WJC numbers up to 2 goals and 4 assists in 4 games. You can check out his goals against Kamloops and Portland below:

NCAA

Reilly Walsh had a PP goal, PP assist, even rating, and 10 shots across 2 games last weekend. Check out his goal from Harvard’s game against St. Lawrence below:

Matt Hellickson had an assist, +1, and 3 shots across 2 games for Notre Dame last weekend. He’s picked up his production a bit more lately with 6 points in his last 8 games after a 10 game drought. He had started the season with 5 points in his first 6 games.

Aarne Talvitie made his return to the Penn State line up this past weekend as they took on Michigan. This was his first game action since 12/14/19 due to Penn State’s break and a 3 game absence for personal reasons. Talvitie had an even rating, 6 shots, and won 66.67% of his faceoffs across both games.

Tyce Thompson had 2 PP assists, -2, 2 PIM, 3 shots, and won 44.83% of his faceoffs across 2 games for Providence last weekend. He is in a 4-way tie for the NCAA lead in goals (17) and is 2nd in points (37). On Thursday, Thompson was one of the players nominated for the Hobey Baker Award which is given to the top player in Division 1 hockey.

Patrick Moynihan had a PP goal, an assist, -2, and 4 shots in 2 games for Providence. Both of his points came in their 2nd game against New Hampshire and you can see it below:

Case McCarthy had 2 assists (1 EV, 1 PP), -1, and 3 shots in 2 games last weekend for Boston University. Both of his assists came in their win over Merrimack on Friday.

USHL

Akira Schmid has recovered from a knee injury that has kept him out of action since 10/19/19. On Friday, he made his debut for Sioux City as they defeated Sioux Falls 4-1. Schmid made a strong first impression with 28 saves on 29 shots in his first start for the team.

Cole Brady made 28 saves on 29 shots in a victory over Des Moines on Saturday.

Russia

KHL

VHL/MHL

Yegor Zaitsev had 2 assists, +1, and 3 shots in 14:20 against Torpedo last Thursday. This was his first multiple point game of the season. Zaitsev ranks 6th in points per game (0.17) among U22 defensemen in the KHL (minimum 30 games played).

Daniil Misyul and Lokomotiv had the week off.

Arseni Gritsyuk returned to the ice after just missing one game due to injury. Across 4 games last week, Gritsyuk had 2 assists, +4, 2 PIM, and 10 shots while averaging 20:10 per game.

Finland & Sweden

Eetu Pakkila had an assist, -1, and 4 shots while averaging 11:09 across 2 games last week.

Nikola Pasic had 2 assists (1 EV, 1 PP), +3, and a shot while averaging 14:28 across 2 game last week. He currently leads all U20 players in the Allsvenskan in scoring with 26 points.

Your Take

Which prospects stood out to you this week? Do you feel that Hoelscher has done enough to earn an ELC? How do you feel about the physical play that Okhotyuk and Bahl can bring from the back end? What about Smith’s production since coming back from the WJC? Leave your comments below and thank you for reading!