Welcome to the 11th week of the 2020-21 New Jersey Devils prospect update! The 2021 World Junior Championship is now just a few days away and will feature 6 New Jersey Devils prospects. This week was highlighted by Yegor Sharangovich’s successful loan stint coming to an end as New Jersey has recalled him from Dinamo Minsk in preparation of the NHL season. Fabian Zetterlund and Benjamin Baumgartner also had multi-point weeks. Let’s check in on each prospect now.
2021 World Junior Championship
The NHL Network will be carrying every game of the tournament this year in the US and TSN will be doing the same in Canada. Here are the key games for Devils fans to tune into:
United States (Moynihan) vs. Russia (Gritsyuk, Mukhamadullin), 9:30 p.m. ET
Czech Republic (Pytlik) vs. Sweden (Holtz), 2 p.m. ET
Canada (Mercer) vs. Germany, 6 p.m. ET
Austria vs. United States (Moynihan), 9:30 p.m. ET
Canada (Mercer) vs. Slovakia, 6 p.m. ET
Russia (Gritsyuk, Mukhamadullin) vs. Czech Republic (Pytlik), 9:30 p.m. ET
Sweden (Holtz) vs. Austria, 6 p.m. ET
Czech Republic (Pytlik) vs. United States (Moynihan), 2 p.m. ET
Switzerland vs. Canada (Mercer), 6 p.m. ET
Russia (Gritsyuk, Mukhamadullin) vs. Austria, 9:30 p.m. ET
Sweden (Holtz) vs. Russia (Gritsyuk, Mukhamadullin), 9:30 p.m. ET
Austria vs. Czech Republic (Pytlik), 2 p.m. ET
Finland vs. Canada (Mercer), 6 p.m. ET
United States (Moynihan) vs. Sweden (Holtz), 9:30 p.m. ET
Dawson Mercer has been skating as one of the 2 extra forwards for Canada in practice the past few days via their twitter. It seems like he’ll be used in a defensive role for Canada in this tournament. Check out this interesting feature that was just put out on Mercer and his hometown:
“You’ve heard stickhandle in a phone booth? That’s Dawson. That’s always been Dawson.”— #WorldJuniors (@HC_WJC) December 20, 2020
There’s a pride that comes with being from Bay Roberts, a close-knit community where, for @DawsonMercer14, family and hockey are at the core.@oktire | @HkyNL | #WorldJuniors pic.twitter.com/CBDoLnSN3a
Arseni Gritsyuk has been skating as the 2nd line LW for Russia and Shakir Mukhamadullin has been on the left side of the top pair in practice via Scott Wheeler.
Graeme Clarke was interviewed on TSN Ottawa 1200 radio about his Canada WJC camp experience. He goes into what it was like to be a late cut despite having a great camp and how he can use it as motivation going forward. He seems to have a great attitude and is focused on getting better.
Matt Hellickson was a -2 with 5 shots across 2 games last weekend.
Aarne Talvitie and Penn State had last week off. They will resume their season on 1/3 against Michigan State.
Tyce Thompson had a goal, 2 assists (1 EV, 1 PP), +1, 6 shots, and won 44% of his faceoffs across 2 games last weekend. Check out his latest goal:
Case McCarthy and Boston University are scheduled to start their season on 1/1 against Northeastern.
Artem Shlaine had an even rating, 2 PIM, 2 shots, and won 2/7 faceoffs in UConn’s loss to UMass Lowell yesterday.
Cole Brady started Arizona State’s game against Ohio State on Thursday but made just 5 saves on 8 shots in 8:19 before being removed. The freshman goaltender is going through a bit of a tough stretch lately, only appearing in 1 out of ASU’s past 4 games.
Ethan Edwards had an even rating and a shot in Sioux City’s loss to 2-1 loss to Tri-City on Friday. Their other scheduled game ended up being postponed.
Akira Schmid made 20 saves on 22 shots in that 2-1 loss.
VHL & MHL
The KHL had a light schedule last week so Yegor Zaitsev, Daniil Misyul, Nikita Popugayev, and Yegor Sharangovich didn’t have any games.
The news came out yesterday that Sharangovich has been recalled from his loan and is heading to New Jersey. If you haven’t already, check out Mike’s post which takes a look at whether or not Sharangovich could make an NHL impact this season. Sharangovich finishes his KHL season as the leader in goals (17) and points (25) among U23 players. His 0.74 Pts/GP (minimum 30 GP) ranks 16th among U23 players in KHL history. Obviously that’s a small sample size and it’s propped up by an unsustainable 17.89 SH% but it was great to see him take full advantage of his opportunity. Hopefully he can carry this success over to New Jersey this season.
Eetu Pakkila and Ilves are scheduled to resume their season on 12/27 against KooKoo.
I haven’t seen any reports that Janne Kuokkanen’s loan is over and he’s heading to New Jersey just yet but I’m sure they will come out any moment now.
SHL & Allsvenskan
Nikola Pasic had an assist, +2, and a shot in 17:34 in his only game last week.
Fabian Zetterlund had a goal, 2 assists, +2, and 8 shots while averaging 12:44 across 3 games last week. You can check out one of those assists and his latest goal below. I have to imagine he’ll be recalled from his loan soon.
The Rest of Europe
Swiss National League, Slovak Extraliga, Czech 1.liga, Deutsche Eishockey Liga
Benjamin Baumgartner had a goal, 3 assists, +3, 12 shots, and won 54.05% of his faceoffs while averaging 13:34 across 3 games last week. He is currently 2nd among U21 players in the NL in scoring. Check out the highlights from his recent 3 point performance against SCL Tigers on Friday.
Marian Studenic was a -2 with 4 shots and average ice time of 13:35 across 2 games last week. His production has slowed down after he opened his loan with 8 points in 10 games as he now has 3 points over his last 10 games. His shots per game rate has dipped despite a slight increase in his average ice time. Studenic has always been a prospect I’ve rated well due to his exceptional transition game so I’m not too worried about this dip in production. I’m excited to see what he does when he returns to the AHL.
Nico Daws didn’t play in ERC Ingolstadt’s 2-1 opening game loss to the Schwenninger Wild Wings. Perhaps he will play in one of the 2 games they have this week.
Which prospects stood out to you this week? What do you think about the weeks that Baumgartner and Zetterlund had? How ready are you for the WJC? Do you expect Sharangovich to contribute to the Devils this season? Leave your comments below and thank you for reading!