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New Jersey Devils Prospect Update: 1/14/21

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This week’s prospect action was highlighted by Patrick Moynihan and the USA earning Gold at the WJC, Dawson Mercer and Canada earning Silver, and the loans for Fabian Zetterlund and Marian Studenic coming to an end as the AHL season nears.

New Jersey Devils Prospect Headshots
Patrick Moynihan helped the USA to a Gold Medal at the 2021 WJC. He immediately made an impact when he returned to Providence with a goal and an assist in his first game back.
Photo by Andy Marlin/NHLI via Getty Images

Welcome to the 14th week of the 2020-21 New Jersey Devils prospect update! It features Patrick Moynihan helping the USA to a Gold Medal at the WJC while Dawson Mercer and Canada took home Silver. Aarne Talvitie, Tyce Thompson, and Moynihan all had multi-point weekends in the NCAA. Akira Schmid seems to be finding some form in the USHL and the Devils’ KHL defenseman, Yegor Zaitsev, Daniil Misyul, and Shakir Mukhamadullin all produced for their teams last week. Let’s take a look at how each prospect performed.

2021 World Junior Championship

I want to once again give a big thanks to Mikael Nahabedian (@hunterofstats) for tracking Zone Exit/Entry data. I’ve included those stats below for the Devils prospects.

Dawson Mercer had an even rating, a shot, and played 9:13 in Canada’s 2-0 loss to the USA in the Gold Medal game at the WJC last week. He went 1/3 in controlled Zone Exits and 2/5 in controlled Zone Entries in the game. He finished the tournament with 33.33% of his Zone Exits coming with control and 34.21% of his Zone Entries with control.

Patrick Moynihan had an even rating and played 11:55 in the USA’s Gold Medal win over Canada last week. He went 3/5 in controlled Zone Exits and 0/3 in controlled Zone Entries. He finished the tournament with 64.71% of his Zone Exits coming with control and 28.57% of his Zone Entries with control.

Arseni Gritsyuk missed Russia’s 4-1 loss to Finland in the Bronze Medal game at the WJC last week due to a minor injury. In terms of transition data, he finished with 59.26% of his Zone Exits coming with control and 35.71% of his Zone Entries with control.

Shakir Mukhamadullin was a -2 with 2 shots in 19:27 in Russia’s loss to Finland for the Bronze Medal. He went 3/6 in controlled Zone Exits and 0/2 in controlled Zone Entries. He finished the tournament with 50.00% of his Zone Exits coming with control and 37.50% of his Zone Entries with control. I thought he had an up and down tournament, as to be expected with a big defenseman that has plenty of tools still developing. While his offensive production wasn’t there, I thought it was notable that he averaged 21:04 per game as an 18 year old and didn’t commit a penalty. Some of his defensive reads and execution need work but I thought his mobility and hard shot where positive aspects of his game.

QMJHL

Dawson Mercer and Chicoutimi are scheduled to re-start their season on 1/22 against Sherbrooke. Chicoutimi’s last game came on 11/26 in a 3-0 loss to Blainville-Boisbriand. According to this tweet from Charles Ouellet, it seems that there is the possibility that Mercer is traded to another QMJHL team. The QMJHL trade deadline was supposed to be 1/6 but has been moved to 1/25. Chicoutimi is currently in 7th place in the QMJHL. The teams mentioned as possible trade partners are 1st place Charlottetown and 11th place Victoriaville, though with all of the postponements, the standings are a bit of a mess at the moment.

OHL

The OHL hasn’t released a revised plan to start their season and at this point it’s looking like they may not have one. Scott Radley of The Hamilton Spectator has this article which talks about the troubling COVID-19 situation in Ontario that is casting doubt on the league being able to play this season. I thought this part really stood out:

“I think hope is dwindling and dwindling fast,” says agent Culley Curran who represents several OHL players.

“I don’t see it happening,” says agent Todd Reynolds, who also has a number of clients in the league.

For comparison, the WHL is going to attempt at 24 game season and the OHL could try to do the same. We’ll have to see what happens. All of the Devils OHL prospects with the exception of Michael Vukojevic are playing in Europe. Perhaps Vukojevic ends up in the AHL at some point.

NCAA

Matt Hellickson had an even rating, 2 PIM, and 4 shots as Notre Dame split a series against Arizona State last weekend.

Aarne Talvitie had a goal, 2 assists (1 PP, 1 EN), +4, 2 PIM, 7 shots, and won 47.50% of his faceoffs as Penn State split a series against Ohio State last weekend. Check out his goal and assist from the first game against Ohio State:

Tyce Thompson had 2 goals (1 EV, 1 PP), an assist, -2, 2 PIM, 9 shots, and won 62.07% of his faceoffs as Providence split a weekend series against Boston University. Below is his goal and assist from the first game against BU:

Patrick Moynihan had a goal, PP assist, even rating, 2 PIM, and 6 shots across 2 games for Providence last weekend. He’s been playing on Thompson’s right wing again this season. Check out his goal below:

The good news is that Boston University finally started their season. The bad news is that Case McCarthy wasn’t in the line up for either game against Providence last weekend. I haven’t found the reason for his absence yet.

Artem Shlaine and UConn had last week off. They are set to resume their season this weekend against New Hampshire.

Cole Brady didn’t dress for ASU last weekend against Notre Dame. Craig Morgan reports that Brady is expected to miss 3-4 weeks for “reasons undisclosed.” On Sunday, Michael Gutnick reported that Brady is home in Toronto, recovering from mononucleosis.

I should note that my stats for Brady vary from what’s on College Hockey Inc. and Elite Prospects. They both have him making 12 saves on 14 shots in his last appearance on 1/4 though the ASU and Minnesota gamesheets both list him as making 12 saves on 15 shots in that game. That backs up what I read in a game recap so I’m going with that for now.

USHL

Ethan Edwards had an assist, +2, 4 PIM, and a shot across 3 games last week.

Akira Schmid made 21 saves on 22 shots in a victory over Tri-City on Friday. He made 19 saves on 21 shots in a victory over Fargo on Sunday. He now has 3 wins in a row with a .933 SV% during that stretch.

Russia

KHL

VHL & MHL

Yegor Zaitsev had 2 assists (1 EV, 1 PP), an even rating, 6 PIM, a shot, and averaged 16:37 across 3 KHL games last week. Those assists move him up to 9th in scoring among U23 defenseman in the KHL (Shakir Mukhamadullin is 3rd). Check out his two assists below:

Daniil Misyul had a goal, +1, 6 shots, and averaged 14:43 across 3 KHL games last week. Check out his goal below:

Arseni Gritsyuk didn’t play any league games last week after returning from the WJC. He did miss Russia’s final WJC game due to injury so it seems he’s recovering from that still.

Nikita Popugayev was a -1 with 1 shot and averaged 10:48 across 3 KHL games last week.

Shakir Mukhamadullin had a goal, even rating, and 2 shots while playing 12:58 in Salavat Yulaev’s 3-1 victory over Sibir on Tuesday. He also just celebrated his 19th birthday on Sunday. You can check out that goal below as he continues to produce at an impressive rate in the KHL for a young defenseman:

Finland

Liiga

Eetu Pakkila had an assist, even rating, 2 PIM, 4 shots, and averaged 11:03 across 2 games last week. He hasn’t had a goal over his last 13 games but does have 6 assists during that stretch.

Sweden

SHL & Allsvenskan

Nikola Pasic had an assist, -3, 7 shots, and averaged 15:53 across 4 games last week. The assist came in his first game of the week and snapped a 5 game streak without a point.

Alexander Holtz was a -1 with 2 shots while playing 12:15 in his only game of the week last Thursday. I saw one tweet mention that he looked a bit “jet lagged” so it’s not too surprising that he didn’t play in the following two games.

Fabian Zetterlund had a goal, -1, 12 shots, and averaged 15:23 across 4 games last week. You can check out that goal below:

AIK announced yesterday that his loan has come to an end and he will be re-joining the Devils organization. The official Hockey Allsvenskan site lists him with 4 goals and 6 assists for 10 points in 21 games played. According to their gamesheets he has a 7th assist which I include in the stats above. Overall, it seems like his loan was productive as he played at about a half point per game rate, had a near even split between EV and PP points, and averaged just under 2.5 shots per game. I’m looking forward to seeing how he performs at the AHL level this season. He had 8 goals and 11 assists for 19 points in 46 games for Binghamton last season and will hopefully improve upon that 0.41 points per game rate.

The Rest of Europe

Swiss National League, Slovak Extraliga, Czech 1.liga, Deutsche Eishockey Liga

Benjamin Baumgartner had a goal, -1, 2 PIM, 6 shots, and won 8/12 faceoffs while averaging 10:11 across 3 games last week. His goal came in his most recent game and snapped an 8 game goal drought and 7 game point drought. Check out his goal below:

Marian Studenic had an assist, +1, and 2 shots in 13:02 in his final game with HC Slovan Bratislava last Wednesday. After the game, Tomas Prokop reported that Studenic’s loan has come to an end and he is re-joining the Devils ahead of the AHL season. He finishes his time with HC Slovan Bratislava with 6 goals and 9 assists in 25 games while averaging over 2 shots per game. His points mostly came at even strength (13) compared to the power play (2). He had the 6th highest points per game rate among U23 players (minimum 15+ games played) in the league.

Graeme Clarke had an even rating, 4 PIM, 7 shots, and averaged 16:37 across 2 games last week. His ice time has been interesting since he joined HC Nove Zamky as he played 21:17 in his first game, then played between 10:33 to 12:00 in his next 3 games, then played 22:17 in his most recent game.

I’m assuming that Jaromir Pytlik returned to the Czech Republic following the WJC to re-join HC Stadion Litomerice on loan since the OHL season isn’t close to starting. He was injured after the first game of the WJC so it’s no surprise he didn’t appear in any games for HC Stadion Litomerice last week.

Nico Daws didn’t play in ERC Ingolstadt’s only game last week. Their schedule seems to pick up starting this Friday so hopefully he’ll start getting some more action.

Your Take

Which prospects stood out to you last week? What did you think about the Devils prospects at the WJC? What are your expectations for Zetterlund and Studenic in the AHL this season? Leave your comments below and thank you for reading!