The 5th week of the 2020-21 New Jersey Devils prospect update is here. It features Dawson Mercer’s return in the QMJHL, the USHL season starting for Ethan Edwards and Akira Schmid, Arseni Gritsyuk and Shakir Mukhamadullin helping Russia to the 2020 Karjala Cup, Jesper Boqvist have a strong week in Sweden, and Alexander Holtz participate in Sweden’s U20 WJC camp. Let’s take a look at how the prospects performed over the past week.
Dawson Mercer and Chicoutimi finally returned to action last Tuesday with a 4-2 win over Rimouski. Mercer had an assist, -1, 2 PIM, 2 shots, and won 5/9 faceoffs. This was their first game since October 11 due to the pandemic. Unfortunately, Chicoutimi would once again see their season interrupted due to a positive COVID-19 test by a team staff member on Saturday. The team has since been isolated and tested. Chicoutimi, along with 7 other QMJHL teams, are scheduled to move into a bubble in Quebec City to play from November 17 to November 27. However, Mercer will be on the ice for Canada’s WJC camp in Red Deer which starts on November 16. That camp will run through December 13 prior to the WJC which starts on Christmas Day.
The OHL is still aiming for an early February start.
Graeme Clarke will also be in Canada’s WJC camp which starts on Monday. Unlike Mercer, he isn’t expected to make the roster.
The Karjala Cup took place last week in Finland. The tournament is played between Finland, Sweden, Czech Republic, and Russia. Usually it is all men’s teams that compete but Russia decided to ice their U20 team against the other nation’s senior teams. Jaromir Pytlik made his debut for the Czech men’s team and helped them to a 3rd place finish. He played in two games, had an even rating, and a shot. Samuel Tirpak of Dobber Prospects had this to say about Pytlik’s game after watching him at the Karjala Cup:
- At our final 2020 Draft meeting at Dobber, I pointed out Jaromír Pytlík's (NJD) PK skills as something that would take him to NHL. He shined there. Super active, aggressive.. he just continues to get better and better on PK and in defensive parts and I love it.— Samuel Tirpak (@SammyT_51) November 8, 2020
Matt Hellickson and Notre Dame are scheduled to start their season on Friday against Wisconsin.
Aarne Talvitie and Penn State are scheduled to start their season on November 19 against Minnesota.
Cole Brady and Arizona State are scheduled to start their season on Saturday against Michigan. Check out his mask for the Sun Devils:
Now THIS is a mask. ☀️ pic.twitter.com/nAroKO7HEE— Sun Devil Hockey (@SunDevilHockey) November 5, 2020
Hockey East is hoping to start on November 20. That affects Tyce Thompson and Patrick Moynihan (Providence), Case McCarthy (Boston University), and Artem Shlaine (UConn).
Ethan Edwards had an even rating and 4 shots in his USHL debut in Sioux City’s 5-1 loss to Tri-City on Saturday. Akira Schmid dressed as the back up for Sioux City. Corey Masisak at The Athletic noted that Schmid had hip surgery during the shutdown. Hopefully he can stay healthy this season and return to his 2018-19 form.
VHL & MHL
Yegor Zaitsev and Dynamo Moscow had last week off. The KHL has tracking technology and it was recently noted that he has the hardest shot of the season at 168 kilometers per hour, which google tells me is roughly 104 miles per hour.
Daniil Misyul and Lokomotiv Yaroslavl had last week off.
Arseni Gritsyuk was a part of the Russia U20 team that won the Karjala Cup over men’s teams from Finland, Czech Republic, and Sweden. He had no points but was a +1 over 3 games. By all accounts, he was active in creating chances but was unfortunate not to get any points. He played 11:38, 10:58, and 14:16 across the 3 games. Check out some of his chances below:
Arseni Gritsyuk (#81, #NJDevils) was quite impressive for Team Russia as a pure play driver. Didn't come away from the cup with any points on the scoresheet—partially due to Lukas Parik stonewalling every one of his dangerous chances vs. the Czech Republic—but boy, he just goes. pic.twitter.com/qmTDDp6AuZ— Dylan Griffing (@Dylan_Griffing) November 9, 2020
Nikita Popugayev had no games last week.
Shakir Mukhamadullin was also a part of the Russia U20 team that won the Karjala Cup. In 3 games he had 2 assists and a +2. He played 21:11, 23:50, and 20:53 across the 3 games which led the Russian defensemen.
Yegor Sharangovich and Dinamo Minsk had no games last week.
Mikhail Maltsev and SKA St. Petersburg had no games last week.
Eetu Pakkila last played on October 27 and missed Ilves last two games. They had a break in their schedule last week and are set to resume play on Friday against Tappara.
Nick Merkley and Assat had last week off. They return to play tomorrow against JYP. He is currently tied for the lead on the team in goals with 4 and is 4th on the team in scoring with 9 points.
Janne Kuokkanen had an even rating and 7 shots while averaging 16:02 of ice time per game across 2 games last week. He now has gone 5 games without a point and has just an assist over his last 8 games. I have confidence in him to turn it around as I think he’s a NHL ready player but I was hoping for a better start to his 2020-21 season.
SHL & Allsvenskan
Nikola Pasic and Linkoping had last week off. They resume their season today against Skelleftea.
Djurgarden had no games last week but Alexander Holtz was with Sweden’s U20 team at a camp in Malmo anyway. As Henrik Sjoberg reported, Holtz was the top RW on a line with Lucas Raymond and Karl Henriksson and was on their top PP unit.
Jesper Boqvist had 2 goals, a PP assist, -2, and 6 shots while averaging 13:44 of ice time per game across 3 games last week. I should note that one of the goals was the winning goal in a shootout and it seems that the Allsvenskan counts that towards his normal goal total. Check out his latest goal below:
Fabian Zetterlund was a -2 with 6 shots across 2 games last week. There was no time on ice recorded for his team in their game on Wednesday. He played 15:31 in his game on Sunday.
Switzerland & Slovakia
Benjamin Baumgartner and HC Davos had last week off due to the national team break but resume their league play against SC Bern today. They have only played 5 games so far this season due to the pandemic but fortunately have been one of just three NL teams not to have to be quarantined.
Marian Studenic had an even rating, 34 PIM, and a shot in 8:15 in his only league game action last week against HC Kosice on Sunday. He had an interference penalty early in the game and at the start of the 3rd period picked up a hooking, unsportsmanlike conduct (10 PIM), and unsportsmanlike conduct (20 PIM). He also played in a Slovakian Cup game on Wednesday but I haven’t been able to find the stats for that.
Which prospects stood out to you this past week? What are your expectations for Ethan Edwards and Akira Schmid in the USHL this season? What do you make of Shakir Mukhamadullin leading Russian defensemen in ice time at the Karjala Cup? What are your thoughts Jesper Boqvist’s season so far in Sweden? Leave your comments below and thank you for reading!