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New Jersey Devils Prospect Update: 1/19/21

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This week’s action saw Graeme Clarke’s loan in Slovakia come to an end, Aarne Talvitie step up for Penn State, and Akira Schmid start rounding into form for Sioux City in the USHL.

New Jersey Devils Headshots
Akira Schmid is starting to play regularly for Sioux City in the USHL and now has a .920 SV% over his last 5 games.
Photo by Andy Marlin/NHLI via Getty Images

Welcome to the 15th week of the 2020-21 New Jersey Devils prospect update! This week saw Aarne Talvtie and Artem Shlaine have multi-point weeks in the NCAA, Akira Schmid start to settle in for Sioux City with some strong performances, and Graeme Clarke’s loan in Slovakia come to an end. Alexander Holtz didn’t play due to a back injury but the news came out that he’s already recovered and should be back in game action this upcoming week. Let’s take a look at how each prospect performed over the last week.

QMJHL

Dawson Mercer and Chicoutimi are scheduled to resume their season on Friday against Sherbrooke. The QMJHL trade deadline is next Monday at noon so it will be interesting to see if he’s moved anywhere. The league recently had to postpone games in the Maritimes Division, which doesn’t directly affect Mercer, though it shows that they are still having trouble playing games.

NCAA

Matt Hellickson was a -1 with 2 PIM and a shot as Notre Dame defeated Minnesota twice last weekend. He has now played in 131 consecutive games which dates back to the first game of his freshman season.

Aarne Talvitie had a PP goal, an assist, even rating, 6 shots, and won 56.10% of his faceoffs as Penn State defeated Michigan State twice last weekend. Both of his points came in Saturday’s victory. Check out his most recent goal and assist below. I really like how he drives the net for his goal and puts himself in position for a deflection close to goal on his assist.

Tyce Thompson had an assist, -2, 4 PIM, 5 shots, and won 1/2 faceoffs as Providence split a series against Maine last weekend. Patrick Moynihan was out of the line up so Thompson shifted from center to right wing for the team. Thompson didn’t have a point in Saturday’s game so that snapped a 4 game streak where he had 5 points.

As mentioned above, Patrick Moynihan didn’t play in either of Providence’s games last weekend. He did get banged up in the WJC and missed some time during the tournament. He did manage to play in Providence’s first 2 games after he returned but perhaps he’s still battling an injury.

Boston University won both of their games against UMass but Case McCarthy remained unavailable for selection. I haven’t been able to find a reason for this absence yet. Hopefully he will be ready for this weekend’s set against Maine.

Artem Shlaine had 2 PP assists, -1, 6 shots, and won 50.0% of his faceoffs as UConn defeated New Hampshire twice last weekend. He continues to play a prominent role for UConn as a freshman, centering the 2nd line and playing on the PP.

Cole Brady continues to be out due to illness. He’s expected to re-join ASU in a few weeks.

USHL

Ethan Edwards had an assist, -1, and 2 shots across 3 games last week.

Akira Schmid made 26 saves on 29 shots in an overtime loss to Sioux Falls on Thursday. He avenged that loss by making 21 saves on 23 shots in a victory over Sioux Falls on Saturday. He seems to be finding his game again with a .920 SV% over his last 5 games (all starts). Schmid’s .897 SV% may not seem like much to look at, but it’s actually tied for 5th in the USHL among qualified goaltenders. Only 4 goaltenders have SV%’s over .900 at the moment.

Russia

KHL

VHL & MHL

Yegor Zaitsev was a +2 with 3 shots while averaging 19:42 across 2 KHL games last week.

Daniil Misyul had an even rating and a shot across 2 KHL games last week. He only had one shift for 0:39 against CSKA on Thursday. On Sunday he played 9:43 against Traktor.

Arseni Gritsyuk hasn’t played in any games since returning with an injury from the WJC.

Nikita Popugayev wasn’t in the line up for Neftekhimik against Dinamo Riga on Sunday.

Shakir Mukhamadullin had an even rating and averaged 12:06 across 2 KHL games last week.

Finland

Liiga

Eetu Pakkila had an even rating and a shot while playing 9:22 in Ilves only game last week. Just to see how he compares to his peers so far this season, his 0.50 Pts/GP rate is 15th among U22 players in Liiga.

Sweden

SHL & Allsvenskan

Nikola Pasic had an assist, even rating, and 2 shots while averaging 10:37 across 2 games last week.

Alexander Holtz missed 2 more games last week, making it 4 in a row since briefly returning to the Djurgarden line up after he returned from the WJC. It turns out that he had a back injury that kept him out of the line up. It seems that it started bothering him during the WJC and was aggravated when he traveled back to Sweden and tried to play immediately for Djurgarden. The good news is that he has already rehabbed it and has fully recovered so he should feature in this week’s games.

The Rest of Europe

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

Benjamin Baumgartner had an even rating, 2 shots, won 3/3 faceoffs and averaged just 5:17 across 2 games last week. He seems to be being used on the wing as an extra forward as of late. Over his last 3 games he has averaged just 5:27 per game. A lot of that time has come on the PP where he has averaged 1:46 per game over his last 3 games. Baumgartner had 4 goals and 9 assists for 13 points over his opening 16 games. Since then he has just a goal over his last 10 games. That lone goal did come last Tuesday where he only played 5:46. Hopefully he can break out of his slump and earn more ice time soon.

Graeme Clarke had an even rating and 4 shots while playing 15:59 in HC Nove Zamky’s only game last week. That would turn out to be his final game for the team as he’s on his way to join the Binghamton Devils as their AHL season is scheduled to get underway on 2/5.

Since the OHL still doesn’t have a plan to return, those players are being allowed to participate in the AHL for the time being. It’s certainly been an unorthodox season for Clarke but I do think he’s been making the most of it by participating in the Canadian WJC camp, then getting a taste of pro hockey in Slovakia, and now he’s set to play pro hockey in North America. I wouldn’t be surprised to see him sign his ELC soon, though the Devils do have until 6/1 to make that decision.

Jaromir Pytlik still hasn’t played since returning home with an injury from the WJC.

Nico Daws made 18 saves on 22 shots in a loss to Augsburger on Friday. He played the first two periods before being replaced. This was his second game for ERC Ingolstadt, and first appearance since 1/2.

Your Take

Which prospects stood out to you this week? What do you think about Graeme Clarke heading to the AHL? Are you concerned about Benjamin Baumgartner’s decrease in ice time? What do you think about the seasons that Aarne Talvitie, Tyce Thompson, and Akira Schmid are having so far? Leave your comments below and thank you for reading!