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New Jersey Devils Prospect Update: 11/9/21

This week’s update includes Chase Stillman’s productive return to the Sudbury line up, Luke Hughes impressing for Michigan, and Utica moving to 7-0 on the season.

New Jersey Devils v New York Rangers
Tyce Thomspon is looking to follow Alexander Holtz from Utica to New Jersey. On Friday, the forward had a hat trick in Utica’s victory over Syracuse.
Photo by Bruce Bennett/Getty Images

Welcome to the 4th week of the 2021-22 New Jersey Devils prospect update! This week’s post is highlighted by Chase Stillman’s strong return from injury for the Sudbury Wolves, Case McCarthy and Luke Hughes producing from the blue line in college, and Jakub Malek continuing to dominate the Czech 2nd division. It’s also highlighted by call-ups for Tyce Thompson, who had 4 goals in 3 games last weekend for Utica, and Jesper Boqvist, who is on a great run of form himself. Let’s take a look at how each prospect performed over the past week.

OHL

Chase Stillman returned to the Sudbury Wolves line up after missing a couple of games due to injury. He played in all 3 games for the team last week, putting up 2 goals (1 EV, 1 PP), an assist, even rating, 2 PIM, 10 shots, and won 11/25 faceoffs (44%) as he split time between center and right wing. Stillman now has 6 goals and 4 assists over his last 7 games. Check out his most recent goals below:

NCAA

Patrick Moynihan seems to be stuck in a slump right now. In 2 games last weekend against UMass, Moynihan was a -2 with 4 shots. He now has no points over his last 6 games. He’s been moved out of the top line right wing spot and has had 4 different linemates across the past 2 games as the team looks to get him going. Hopefully he’ll breakout out of his slump soon.

Case McCarthy had a productive weekend for Boston University even though the team lost 2 games to Northern Michigan. On Friday he had a goal, PP assist, +1, and 5 shots. On Saturday he had an even rating, 2 PIM, and 2 shots. He’s been a steady presence on the right side of the 2nd pairing for BU.

Artem Shlaine had an assist, -2, 4 shots, and won 11/19 faceoffs (57.89%) across UConn’s 2 victories over Maine last weekend.

Cole Brady and Arizona State had last weekend off. They will take on Quinnipiac this upcoming weekend.

Ethan Edwards played in both of Michigan’s victories over Michigan State last weekend. He was a -3 with a shot as he continued on his 3rd pairing role.

Luke Hughes continued to star for Michigan last weekend. On Friday he had 2 goals, a PP assist, +3, and 2 shots. On Saturday he was a +1 with a shot. Hughes is currently tied-2nd in the NCAA in goals by a defenseman (4) and tied-5th in points by a defenseman (10). Check out his recent goals below:

Russia

KHL

Yegor Zaitsev was a +1 with 3 shots and averaged 17:16 across 3 games last week.

Daniil Misyul was a -2 with 3 shots and averaged 14:40 across 3 games last week.

Arseni Gritsyuk missed all 3 of Avangard’s games last week and has now missed 4 in a row due to injury.

Shakir Mukhamadullin was a -1 with 5 shots and averaged 19:10 across 2 games last week.

Zakhar Bardakov didn’t play last week but it appears he was listed on SKA-Neva’s roster for the VHL (2nd division). Hopefully he’ll start to play some games there.

Finland

Liiga, Mestis, & U20-SM-sarja

Eetu Pakkila had a goal, +2, 6 shots, and averaged 17:35 across 3 games last week.

Jaromir Pytlik returned to KalPa in Liiga (1st division) from his loan with IPK in Mestis (2nd division). On Friday he had an even rating and 2 shots in 9:25.

Topias Vilen was a -4 with 4 shots and averaged 11:20 across 3 games last week.

Samu Salminen had 2 goals (1 EV, 1 PP), 2 assists (1 EV, 1 PP), an even rating, 14 PIM, and won 64% of his faceoffs across 2 games last week.

Sweden

SHL & J20 Nationell

Nikola Pasic only played in one of Linköping’s games last week. On Tuesday he was a -1 with a shot in 8:52. He didn’t play in the next two games as it seems he’s suffered another injury.

Viktor Hurtig had a PP goal, PP assist, and -2 across 2 games last week. I’ve had to stop including shot related stats for him since they aren’t provided for every game. I do know that he had 4 shots in one of those games but it’s unknown how many he had in the the other one.

The Rest of Europe

Swiss National League & Czech 1.liga

Benjamin Baumgartner had a goal, +1, 3 shots, won 6/11 faceoffs, and averaged 9:49 across 2 games last week.

Jakub Malek had 2 more solid starts in the Czech 2nd division. Last Wednesday, Malek made 18 saves on 19 shots in a victory over SK Kadan. Last Saturday, Malek made 27 saves on 29 shots in a victory over HC Dukla Jihlava. His 1.81 GAA and .938 SV% continues to lead the league. To put his strong start to the season in perspective, according to Elite Prospects, Malek’s .938 SV% ranks 4th all-time among among U20 goaltenders in the Czech 2nd division. He’s behind Libor Kasik (26 GP, .944 SV% in 2011-12), Jakub Skarek (10 GP, .942 SV% in 2017-18), and Petr Kvaca (18 GP, .940 SV% in 2016-17). Malek’s performance last season (14 GP, .912 SV%) ranks 21st all-time on that list.

AHL

Friday 11/5: The Utica Comets defeated the Syracuse Crunch 6-3. Tyce Thompson opened the scoring when he cleaned up a Chase De Leo shot late in a PP. Prior to the goal, Nate Schnarr and Robbie Russo had some nice puck movement which opened up the shot for De Leo. As a result, Schnarr also earned an assist. Syracuse would tie the game a few minutes later when Tyler Wotherspoon got caught out of position which led to a 2v1 with Reilly Walsh back. Gage Goncalves elected to shoot and made the right decision as he beat Nico Daws. Syracuse outshot Utica 17-5 in the opening period so Daws really stepped up to keep them in the game.

The second period, especially the middle part, was wild with five goals occuring in under 3.5 minutes. Jesper Boqvist scored when he was left alone in front of the net and buried a pass by Graeme Clarke to give Utica a 2-1 lead. Michael Vukojevic also picked up an assist. Less than a minute later, Thompson gave Utica a 3-1 lead when he buried his own rebound after being set up by Fabian Zetterlund on a 3v1. Then, just over a minute later, Thompson got his hat trick when he one-timed a pass from Russo on the PP. Prior to that, Russo and Chase De Leo had some nice puck movement to create the oppurtunity. However, less than a minute later, Charles Hudon would score on a Syracuse PP to make it 4-2 Utica. Aarne Talvitie would quickly get the goal back when he scored on a SH breakaway 23 seconds later. Zetterlund and Wotherspoon earned the assists.

Gabriel Dumont would score the 3rd goal for Syracuse on another PP early in the third period. Daws made some nice saves earlier on the PK but was unable to stop this one from trickling in. Finally, De Leo would make it 6-3 late in the game when he finished off a pass from Boqvist. Nikita Okhotiuk also earned an assist. Daws would finish the game with 40 saves on 43 shots as the Comets were outshot 43 to 27. A lot of that is because Utica couldn’t stay out the penalty box and handed Syracuse 7 PP’s. Here is the gamesheet and highlights:

Lineup:

25 Foote - 26 Schmelzer - 15 Gambardella

7 De Leo - 90 Boqvist - 92 Clarke

20 Zetterlund - 77 Talvitie - 12 Thompson

17 Greer - 16 Schnarr - 13 McGrath

88 Bahl - 5 Russo

23 Wotherspoon - 22 Walsh

2 Vukojevic - 82 Okhotiuk

35 Daws

93 Schmid

PP1: Foote, Clarke, Boqvist, Zetterlund, Walsh

PP2: Gambardella, Schnarr, De Leo, Thompson, Russo

PK1: Zetterlund, Talvitie, Bahl, Russo;

PK2: Gambardella, Schmezler, Wotherspoon, Okhotiuk;

Scratches: Flynn, Stevens, White, Groleau

Saturday 11/6: The Utica Comets defeated the Toronto Marlies 5-2. Joe Gambardella led the way with a hat trick. Nolan Foote and Graeme Clarke had the other goals. Chase De Leo and Jesper Boqvist had 2 assists each. Nate Schnarr, A.J. Greer, and Reilly Walsh had an assist each. Tyce Thompson didn’t score but had 5 shots. Akira Schmid made 24 saves on 26 shots to pick up the win. Utica outshot Toronto 29-26 and went 2/5 on the PP and 3/3 on the PK. Here is the gamesheet and highlights:

Lineup:

7 De Leo - 90 Boqvist - 92 Clarke

20 Zetterlund - 77 Talvitie - 12 Thompson

25 Foote - 26 Schmelzer - 15 Gambardella

17 Greer - 16 Schnarr - 13 McGrath

88 Bahl - 5 Russo

23 Wotherspoon - 22 Walsh

38 Groleau - 82 Okhotiuk

93 Schmid

35 Daws

Sunday 11/7: The Utica Comets defeated the Laval Rocket 4-2 to move to 7-0 on the season. Tyce Thompson opened the scoring in the 2nd period with Fabian Zetterlund and Robbie Russo picking up the assists. About five minutes later Joe Gambardella scored to make it 2-0 Utica. Nikita Okhotiuk and Nate Schnarr earned the assists on that goal. The teams would trade goals twice in the 3rd period. Laurent Dauphin got the Rocket on the board 38 seconds into the period on a PP. About midway through the period, Graeme Clarke would answer back with Jesper Boqvist and Chase De Leo earning the assists. A few minutes later, Jesse Ylonen would score the 2nd of the game for the Rocket. Boqvist sealed the game with an empty net goal with just over a minute left. De Leo and Clarke earned the assists on that goal. Nico Daws made 30 saves on 32 shots to earn the victory. Utica was outshot 32-27 and went 0/2 on the PP and 2/3 on the PK. Here is the gamesheet and goals:

Lineup:

7 De Leo - 90 Boqvist - 92 Clarke

20 Zetterlund - 77 Talvitie - 12 Thompson

25 Foote - 26 Schmelzer - 15 Gambardella

17 Greer - 16 Schnarr - 44 Stevens

23 Wotherspoon - 22 Walsh

2 Vukojevic - 5 Russo

38 Groleau - 82 Okhotiuk

35 Daws

93 Schmid

News and Notes:

  • Utica is now the final undefeated team left in the AHL. They have also surrendered a league low 13 goals.
  • Goaltenders Nico Daws and Akira Schmid have maintained their 100% Quality Start rates.
  • RW Tyce Thompson had himself a great weekend. 4 goals (2 EV, 2 PP) in 3 games with 11 shots.
  • RW Graeme Clarke now has 2 goals (1 EV, 1 EN) and 2 assists (1 EV, 1 EN) over his past 3 games.
  • Jesper Boqvist has 2 goals (1 EV, 1 EN) and 6 assists (4 EV, 1 PP, 1 EN) over his last 5 games.
  • C Nate Schnarr was a scratch for the first two games of the season but has since become a key part of the line up with a 5 game point streak (2 goals and 3 assists).
  • LW Fabian Zetterlund has had continued success playing on his off wing. He picked up 3 more assists last week with all of them being primary.
  • D Michael Vukojevic made his season debut on Friday and played in 2 of the 3 games in the 3-in-3.
  • Utica takes on Syracuse on Thursday, Laval on Saturday, and Belleville on Sunday.

ECHL

The Adirondack Thunder won the middle game of a three game set in Newfoundland against the Growlers. Mareks Mitens started the opening 2 games of the series. On Friday, he made 24 saves on 27 shots in a loss. On Saturday, he made 31 saves on 35 shots in a victory. Adirondack will host the Utah Grizzlies for a three-in-three this upcoming weekend.

Your Take

Which prospects stood out to you last week? What do you make of Utica’s hot start? Do you like the Thompson and Boqvist call-ups? What about the season Luke Hughes is having for Michigan? Leave your comments below and thank you for reading!