Week 7 of the 2020-21 New Jersey Devils prospect update is here! It’s highlighted by Canada’s WJC camp being in full swing for Dawson Mercer and Graeme Clarke, Arseni Gritsyuk and Shakir Mukhamadullin get named to Russia’s WJC camp, and Jaromir Pytlik make a loan move in the Czech Republic to prepare for the WJC. It also features the Devils European based prospects have mostly productive weeks on the ice. Let’s take a look at what each prospect did over the past week.
Dawson Mercer has been participating in Canada’s WJC selection camp which has now seen a pair of scrimmages take place. His spot on the final roster is safe so this is a good oppurtunity for him to get up to game speed and carve out his role both on and off the ice for this team.
Graeme Clarke is currently competing for a roster spot on Canada’s WJC camp at their selection camp.
Jaromir Pytlik is now on loan to HC Stadion Litomerice in the Czech 2nd Division. This will be a good chance for him to get some game time in before the WJC and stay ready ahead of the OHL season. He’s played one game for the team so far. I’ll update his stats in the Europe section of this post going forward.
Matt Hellickson and Notre Dame had last week off. They resume their season with a series against Michigan on Friday and Saturday.
Aarne Talvitie began his season as Penn State’s top center. He had an assist, +2, 2 shots, and won 45.45% of his faceoffs across 3 games as Penn State lost all three games. You can check out his assist below. Penn State’s game against Wisconsin tonight at 6:00 PM ET will be broadcast on the Big Ten Network.
McMENAMINNNNN— Penn State Men’s Hockey (@PennStateMHKY) November 24, 2020
From Wall and Talvitie and Penn State makes it 6-3 with less than a minute remaining in the third period. #WeAre #HockeyValley pic.twitter.com/Xq1KyA3sFc
Tyce Thompson and Patrick Moynihan will start their season on 12/4 when Providence takes on Northeastern.
Case McCarthy and Boston University start their season on 12/11 against UMass. Lance Lysowski has this article for The Buffalo News about McCarthy’s hopes to represent the US at the WJC. The article has plenty of quotes and also talks about the way his game has developed and how he has worked off-ice to gain strength. I recommend reading the entire article but here are some parts that I thought were noteworthy:
McCarthy’s path to the NHL likely will be as a responsible, defensive-minded blue liner who can chip in on offense and make smart decisions with the puck. Throughout his draft year with the USA Hockey National Team Development Program, McCarthy demonstrated the ability to make an effective breakout pass, a willingness to block shots and an understanding on how to take away time and space in his own end.
In addition to honing those parts of his game at BU, McCarthy has strengthened the areas that some scouts labeled as weaknesses, specifically speed and footwork.
Tuzzolino ran McCarthy through many drills that simulate game situations, including net-front positioning, acting in a supportive role as a defense partner and transitioning to the breakout. There was an emphasis on speed and footwork, both of which will be necessary for McCarthy to take the next step in his development.
“I think obviously with the world junior camp, even more so, he kind of knew he was pushing for a shutdown type of role – first-pass, hard-nosed defenseman,” said Tuzzolino. “I think that’s his niche in New Jersey. ... His willingness to constantly go back and work on his weaknesses is everything.”
Artem Shlaine and UConn ended up being able to switch their schedule around to start their season last week. In 2 games against UMass, Shlaine had an even rating, 7 shots, and won 52.17% of his faceoffs as the third line center.
Cole Brady made 25 saves on 26 shots as he earned a tie for Arizona State against Michigan State on Thursday.
Ethan Edwards and Akira Schmid didn’t play in any games last week as Sioux City had their games postponed due to the pandemic.
VHL & MHL
Yegor Zaitsev had an even rating and 2 shots while averaging 16:02 across 2 KHL games last week.
Daniil Misyul had an even rating and a shot as he played 9:49 in his only KHL game action last Thursday. He didn’t play in Saturday’s game for Lokomotiv and hasn’t cracked the 10+ minute TOI mark in 16 games.
Arseni Gritsyuk has continued to show that he belongs at the VHL level. He had 2 goals, an assist, +2, 2 PIM, and 8 shots while averaging 16:12 across 3 games last week. Check out his first two goals of the VHL season below:
Arseni Gritsyuk (NJD) scores his first VHL goal of the season.#NJDevils | #VHL pic.twitter.com/U4yoxNwQV6— Dylan Griffing (@Dylan_Griffing) November 20, 2020
Arseni Gritsyuk (NJD) finishes off the scoring chance on an open net for his second goal of the season.#NJDevils | #VHL pic.twitter.com/VQOJdzbbwL— Dylan Griffing (@Dylan_Griffing) November 22, 2020
Last Friday, Russia announced their WJC Selection Camp Roster. As expected, Arseni Gritsyuk and Shakir Mukhamadullin were both on the roster. Mukhamadullin seems a lock to make the team while Gritsyuk seems to have a solid chance but could be a bubble player.
Nikita Popugayev had an even rating and played 12:52 in his only KHL game last Sunday.
Shakir Mukhamadullin had a PP assist, -1, 2 PIM, and a shot while averaging 14:15 across 2 KHL games last week.
Yegor Sharangovich was a -1 with 4 shots and won 58.33% of his faceoffs while averaging 18:34 across 2 KHL games last week.
Mikhail Maltsev didn’t play for SKA last week.
Eetu Pakkila had 2 assists, +2, and 4 shots while averaging 11:11 across 3 games last week.
Nick Merkley had 3 assists, +1, 2 PIM, and 12 shots while averaging 16:59 across 3 games last week. All 3 of those assists where even strength primary assists. You can see him do the hard work to set up a scoring chance for his teammate in the tweet below:
Otto Kivenmäki (DET) scores his fifth goal of the season after Nick Merkley's (NJD) great drive to the net. #LGRW #NJDevils pic.twitter.com/3wIO9aSJr9— Lassi Alanen (@lassialanen) November 20, 2020
Janne Kuokkanen had a goal, assist, +2, and 4 shots while playing 18:11 in Assat’s only game last week. Here is his latest goal:
Onko tämä?— Oulun Kärpät (@OulunKarpatFi) November 21, 2020
Kaikki lasketaan! #Kärpät tasoittaa tällä @kuokka22’n osumalla! pic.twitter.com/TrrxOijYSD
SHL & Allsvenskan
Nikola Pasic had a goal, -2, and 2 shots while averaging 11:49 across 3 games last week. Check out his breakaway goal below:
Nikola Pasic reducerar för Linköping. #SHL #lhchockey #NJDevils pic.twitter.com/0Q6nrgJRfP— Anton (@antonj85) November 21, 2020
Alexander Holtz had 2 assists (1 EV, 1 PP), an even rating, and 9 shots while averaging 16:51 across 2 games last week. Check out those assists below:
William Eklund kvitterar för Djurgården mot Skellefteå, assisterad av Alexander Holtz. #SHL #DIFHockey #2021NHLDraft #DraftPro #NJDevils pic.twitter.com/i373fVSQS0— Anton (@antonj85) November 19, 2020
Djurgården tar ledningen med bara några minuter kvar! @DIFHockeyse #twittpuck #SHL pic.twitter.com/8ABX9vl8f7— C More Sport (@cmoresport) November 21, 2020
Jesper Boqvist was recalled from his loan by New Jersey last week.
Fabian Zetterlund and AIK had their games postponed last week due to the pandemic.
Switzerland & Slovakia
NL & Slovak Extraliga
Benjamin Baumgartner and HC Davos had 2 games postponed last week due to the pandemic.
Marian Studenic had a PP goal and an assist with a +3, 2 PIM, and 6 shots while averaging 17:09 across 3 games last week.
Nico Daws and ERC Ingolstadt are awaiting a mid-December start to the season. I noticed that the Guelph Storm confirmed that Daws’ move to Germany was on a permanent basis, so he’ll play their for the remainder of the 2020-21 season.
Which prospects stood out to you this week? What are your expectations for Aarne Talvitie and Artem Shlaine this season? Which prospects do you expect to represent their country at the upcoming WJC? Leave your comments below and thank you for reading!