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New Jersey Devils Prospect Update: 11/30/21

This week’s update features the Devils NCAA skaters putting together a productive week, Zakhar Bardakov making his return to the KHL, and the Utica Comets winning 2 out of 3.

New York Islanders v New Jersey Devils
Akira Schmid earned his first professional shutout with a 26 save performance in a victory over Charlotte on Saturday.
Photo by Bruce Bennett/Getty Images

Welcome to the 7th week of the 2021-22 New Jersey Devils prospect update! This week’s action is highlighted by all of the Devils NCAA skaters producing points, Arseni Gritsyuk continuing to score in the KHL, Zakhar Bardakov making his return to SKA in the KHL, and the Utica Devils winning 2 out of 3 games. Let’s check in on each prospect now.

OHL

Chase Stillman found his scoring touch again. He had 2 goals, an assist, -1, 6 PIM, 6 shots, and won 2/3 faceoffs across 3 games last week. Check out his goals below:

NCAA

Patrick Moynihan has continued to produce for Providence. Last Friday he had 2 assists (1 EV, 1 PP), +2, 2 PIM, and 4 shots in a 7-4 victory over Dartmouth. Last Saturday he had a PP goal, even rating, and 6 shots in a 4-0 victory over Brown. Moynihan now has 4 goals and 3 assists over his last 5 games. Check out his recent assists and goal below:

Case McCarthy had a goal, +1, and 3 shots in Boston University’s 6-4 loss to Cornell last Saturday. Check out the goal below:

Artem Shlaine had a PP goal, 2 assists, +1, 4 shots, and won 6/13 faceoffs (46.15%) in UConn’s 6-1 victory over Colgate last Saturday. Check out his first goal of the season below:

Cole Brady didn’t play in either of Arizona State’s games against Bemidji State last week. Ben Kraws started both games for ASU and made 29 saves on 33 shots in a loss last Thursday. He then made 23 saves on 27 shots in a victory last Saturday. ASU will take on Denver on Friday and Saturday of this week so I expect Brady to start at least one of those games. Due to their schedule with multiple weeks off and Kraws getting the bulk of the starts lately, Brady has only had one game (11/12) since the end of October.

Ethan Edwards scored his first NCAA goal and was a +1 with 2 PIM and 4 shots in Michigan’s 6-1 victory over Niagara on last Friday. He didn’t play in Michigan’s 4-1 victory over Niagara on Saturday as the team continues to rotate 4 defensemen among the 3rd pairing. Check out his goal below:

Luke Hughes had a goal, assist, +2, and 3 shots in Michigan’s victory last Friday. He had an even rating and 2 shots in their victory last Saturday. Check out his recent goal and assist below, this guy is a skating highlight reel:

Russia

KHL & VHL

Yegor Zaitsev had a goal, assist, +1, 4 PIM, 6 shots, and averaged 18:02 across 2 games last week. Check out his goal below:

Daniil Misyul had an even rating, 2 shots, and averaged 10:23 across 3 games last week. He’s mainly been playing the role of the extra defenseman for Lokomotiv this season.

Arseni Gritsyuk had a goal, -1, 4 shots, and averaged 17:48 across 2 games last week. His 0.64 points per game rate continues to lead U21 players. Check out his goal below:

Shakir Mukhamadullin was a -1 with 3 shots and average ice time of 12:33 across 3 games last week. I should note that he played 17:51 in his 1st game, just 6:03 in his 2nd game, and 13:45 in his 3rd game. In that middle game against Vityaz, a 3-2 shootout loss, Mukhamadullin had 6 shifts in the 1st period and 3 shifts in the 2nd period but didn’t play in the 3rd period. Mukhamadullin has no points over his last 8 games and no goals over his last 16 games.

Zakhar Bardakov’s stint in the VHL (2nd division) ended up just being 2 games and he’s back playing with SKA in the KHL. In 3 games last week he had a goal, 2 assists, +3, 4 PIM, 4 shots, and averaged 10:38. All of those points came in last Tuesday’s game against Neftekhimik. Check out his goal below:

Finland

Liiga, Mestis, & U20-SM-sarja

Eetu Pakkila had an assist, -2, 5 shots, and averaged 14:11 across 2 games last week.

Jaromir Pytlik is back to playing in the Mestis (2nd division) on a consistent basis. He had an even rating, 2 PIM, 21 shots, won 1/2 faceoffs, and averaged 16:20 across 3 games last week. This included a 13 shot performance in last Saturday’s game against KOOVEE.

Topias Vilen was a +3 with 7 shots and average ice time of 20:28 across 3 games last week.

Samu Salminen had an even rating, 6 shots, won 9/17 faceoffs (52.94%), and played 19:40 in Jokerit’s only game last week.

Sweden

SHL & J20 Nationell

Nikola Pasic made his return to the Linkoping line up last Saturday after missing 5 games. In his first action since 11/2, Pasic had an even rating in 5:10 as the 13th forward. He’s already missed 12 games this season and still has not registered a point in what has been a difficult season for him.

Viktor Hurtig’s stint with the Vaxjo Lakers HC is over after 22 games with their U20 team in the J20 Nationell. He is now a member of Mora IK and is playing with their U20 team in the same league. Last week he made his debut for Mora IK J20 with a +2, 2 PIM, and 12 shots across 3 games. So far he has played on the 2nd pairing with team captain Henning Rothstein.

The Rest of Europe

Swiss National League & Czech 1.liga

Benjamin Baumgartner had a goal, even rating, 4 shots, won 9/17 faceoffs (52.94%), and averaged 13:07 across 2 games last week. After a slow start to his season with a new team, Baumgartner now has 4 goals and 2 assists over his last 9 games. Check out his goal from a tight angle below:

Jakub Malek made 28 saves on 32 shots in a 5-4 shootout loss to HC Stadion Litomerice last Saturday. He made just 1 save on 4 shootout attempts.

AHL

Wednesday 11/24: The Utica Comets lost to the Rochester Americans 4-2. This was their first loss of the season. Alexander Holtz had the Comets first goal with Reilly Walsh earning the assist. Marian Studenic had the other goal when he converted a penalty shot. Holtz led the team with 7 shots. Nico Daws made 19 saves on 22 shots. Utica outshot Rochester 29 to 23. The Comets went 0/2 on the PP and 2/3 on the PK. Here is the gamesheet and Utica goals:

Saturday 11/27: The Utica Comets defeated the Charlotte Checkers 1-0. Fabian Zetterlund scored on a 5v3 PP with Alexander Holtz and Reilly Walsh earning the assist. I’ve really liked Holtz’s puck movement, especially on the PP, since his return. He’s proven to be equally dangerous at shooting and passing at this level. Zetterlund led the team with 3 shots. Akira Schmid stopped all 26 shots he faced for his first professional shutout. Utica was outshot by Charlotte 26-17. Utica went 1/6 on the PP and 6/6 on the PK. Here is the gamesheet, Zetterlund’s goal, and the lineup:

Lineup:

17 Greer - 33 Gauthier - 92 Clarke

25 Foote - 26 Schmelzer - 15 Gambardella

27 Studenic - 77 Talvitie - 9 Holtz

20 Zetterlund - 16 Schnarr - 10 Flynn

88 Bahl - 5 Russo

82 Okhotiuk - 22 Walsh

23 Wotherspoon - 2 Vukojevic

93 Schmid

35 Daws

PP1: Foote, Schmelzer, Zetterlund, Holtz, Walsh

PP2: Gambardella, Schnarr, Flynn, Studenic, Russo

PK1: Greer, Gauthier, Bahl, Russo

PK2: Gambardella, Schmelzer, Okhotiuk, Wotherspoon

(Studenic, Talvitie, Zetterlund, Schnarr, and Foote also saw PK time)

Scratches: McGrath, Laberge, Stevens, Groleau

Sunday 11/28: The Utica Comets defated the Charlotte Checkers 5-2. Samuel Laberge led the way with 2 goals and an assist. Other goal scorers included Marian Studenic, A.J. Greer, and Nate Schnarr. Alexander Holtz had 2 assists followed by Greer, Fabian Zetterlund, and Aarne Talvitie with an assist each. Schnarr led the team with 4 shots. Nico Daws made 16 saves on 18 shots. Greer ended up in a fight with Connor Carrick at the end of the game that started on the ice and continued onto the Checkers bench when both players fell through the open door. You can check that out below as highlights of the game don’t seem to be out anywhere. Utica outshot Charlotte 29-18. Th Comets went 0/3 on the PP and 2/3 on the PK. Here is the gamesheet and lineup:

Lineup:

17 Greer - 33 Gauthier - 20 Zetterlund

25 Foote - 26 Schmelzer - 15 Gambardella

27 Studenic - 77 Talvitie - 9 Holtz

39 Laberge - 16 Schnarr - 10 Flynn

88 Bahl - 5 Russo

38 Groleau - 22 Walsh

23 Wotherspoon - 2 Vukojevic

35 Daws

93 Schmid

Scratches: McGrath, Stevens, Clarke, Okhotiuk

Coming Up: Utica will take on Belleville on Wednesday, Hartford on Saturday, and Providence on Sunday.

ECHL

Adirondack went 1-2 last week. The losses were to Newfoundland and Worcester while the win came against Maine. Mareks Mitens made 12 saves on 16 shots in 26:58 of relief in a 8-1 loss to Worcester last Friday. He followed that up the next day by making 37 saves on 40 shots in a 5-3 victory over Maine.

Adirondack will take on Worcester on Friday and Maine on Saturday and Sunday. Jeremy Broduer has been the #1 goaltender for Maine this season and currently has a a .916 SV% through 10 games.

Your Take

Which prospects stood out to you this week? How do you feel about the group of players the Devils have in the NCAA? What are your thoughts on the Utica Comets? Leave your comments below and thank you for reading!