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New Jersey Devils Prospect Update: 2/2/21

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This week’s action was highlighted by Patrick Moynihan and Artem Shlaine excelling in NCAA play, a pair of defenders earn a call up to the Russian National Team, and Tyce Thompson’s nomination for the Hobey Baker Award.

Providence v Boston University
Tyce Thompson has once again been nominated for the Hobey Baker Award.
Photo by Richard T Gagnon/Getty Images

Welcome to the 17th week of the 2020-21 New Jersey Devils prospect update! This week saw Tyce Thompson earn a nomination for the Hobey Baker Award. Also in NCAA action, Patrick Moynihan and Artem Shlaine put up productive displays. Over in Russia, Daniil Misyul and Shakir Mukhamadullin were called up to the Russian National Team ahead of the 3rd stage of the Euro Hockey Series. In Switzerland, Benjamin Baumgartner is rumored to be leaving HC Davos after this season for another National League club. Let’s check in on each prospect now.

QMJHL

Dawson Mercer had a PP assist, -1, 2 PIM, 3 shots, and won 50.00% of his faceoffs across 2 games last week. The CHL webiste has this interview Junior Hockey Magazine conducted with Mercer. In it he talks about playing in the QMJHL bubble, reflects on his WJC experience, talks about signing with New Jersey and how he wants to make an impact. I thought this question and answer stood out:

JHM: Devils general manager Tom Fitzgerald said you can play any position, any line, any side of the ice, and are a very strong penalty killer. For you, what is it like to hear the GM speak so glowingly about you?

DM: It’s unbelievable to hear. I was so pumped to get drafted by New Jersey. When the team drafts you, they like you, but it is great to hear those words. Those are the things I like to do, all of the little things, play in all situations. I will make my mark in New Jersey by playing whatever role they put me in and I am going to keep on working to try to work my way up the lineup to have my spot in the future. It is great to hear those things and to have positive feedback coming from the player development guys and all of the staff that is there to help us out in the future.

NCAA

Matt Hellickson had an even rating and a shot as Notre Dame split a series against Penn State last week.

Aarne Talvitie had an even rating, a shot, and lost his only faceoff attempt in Penn State’s victory over Notre Dame on Thursday. He did take a big hit in the 1st period of that game and didn’t return. He missed Friday’s game but as David Eckert reports, the injury is listed as “day-to-day” and Coach Guy Gadowsky doesn’t expect him to miss a lot of time.

Tyce Thompson had a goal, +2, 2 PIM, 6 shots, and won 44.44% of his faceoffs as Providence beat New Hampshire twice last week. He’s also nominated for the Hobey Baker Award for the second season in a row.

Patrick Moynihan had a PP goal, 2 assists, +2, and 8 shots across both games for Providence last week. You can see his nice PP goal in the first tweet below and his assist on Thompson’s goal in the second tweet:

Case McCarthy wasn’t in action last week as Boston University saw both of their games against Boston College postponed.

Artem Shlaine continues to be an assist machine for UConn. The freshman, top 6 center had 2 assists (1 EV, 1 PP), +2, 2 PIM, 2 shots, and won 53.57% of his faceoffs as UConn defeated Merrimack twice last week. He now has 6 assists over his last 5 games. His 7 assists rank 7th among U19 NCAA players this season.

Cole Brady continues to be out due to illness. ASU was off last week so he didn’t miss any games. Their next two games are exhibitions against the USNTDP U18 team this weekend. Please note that I changed his stats above to reflect the NCAA record keeping. His stat line from his 1/4 appearance against Minnesota varied from game reports but for the sake of uniformity, I’ve gone with the official line.

USHL

Ethan Edwards was a -1 with 5 shots across 2 games last week. Sioux City had three consecutive games last week but Edwards sat out the first one on Friday. Considering he’s been a top 4 defenseman for them this season, I’d guess it may have been a maintenance day.

Akira Schmid made 17 saves on 19 shots in a 4-2 victory over Fargo on Friday. He made 17 saves on 18 shots in a 1-0 loss to Sioux Falls on Saturday.

Russia

KHL

VHL & MHL

Yegor Zaitsev was a -1 with 2 shots and average ice time of 16:47 across 2 KHL games last week.

Daniil Misyul had an assist, even rating, and 2 shots in 4:21 of his only KHL game last week. On Friday, he was named along with Shakir Mukhamadullin to Russia’s National Team for the upcoming Swedish Hockey Games which is the third stage of the 2020-21 Euro Hockey Tour.

Arseni Gritsyuk remains sidelined with the injury he sustained at the WJC.

Nikita Popugayev was a -1 in 8:11 of his only KHL game last week.

Shakir Mukhamadullin was a -1 in 9:44 in his only KHL game last week.

Finland

Liiga

Eetu Pakkila had an assist, even rating, 2 shots, and averaged 14:19 across 2 games last week.

Sweden

SHL & Allsvenskan

Nikola Pasic had an assist, +1, 3 shots, and averaged 7:13 across 3 games last week. I should note that he earned a game played according to the SHL site for last Tuesday’s game even though he officially played 0:00. I included the game played since it’s on his official stat line. If you exclude that he averaged 10:50 across the 2 games he actually appeared in.

Alexander Holtz was a -1 with 2 PIM and 10 shots while averaging 14:12 across 3 games last week. He hasn’t scored a goal over his last 10 SHL games if you go back prior to the WJC. Over that stretch he has 3 assists.

The Rest of Europe

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

Benjamin Baumgartner returned to the HC Davos line up on Sunday but was a -3 and won 3/6 faceoffs in 10:38. His contract with HC Davos ends after this season and there are rumours that he’s going to sign with another NL club, Lausanne, according to Jérôme Reynard of 24 heures via Swiss Hockey News. The rumored deal is for several seasons. The Devils hold his rights until June 1, 2022 according to Cap Friendly.

Jaromir Pytlik is still back at home in the Czech Republic, recovering from the injury sustained at the WJC. I saw a Czech website report that he’s waiting for news about a potential OHL season. It seems possible that he may return to his loan stint with HC Stadion Litomerice if he’s healthy. He did tweet that he’s “back at it” with a picture of him holding his hockey bag and stick yesterday.

Nico Daws didn’t play in either of ERC Ingolstadt’s games last week. He’s behind Michael Garteig who has been the best goaltender in the DEL with a 7-3 record and 1.64 GAA and .941 SV%. Garteig made 53 saves on 55 shots across both games last week. ERC Ingolstadt’s schedule has them playing 12 more regular season games with none of them being on consecutive days which could make playing time for Daws hard to come by.

Your Take

Which prospects stood out to you this week? What do you think of Artem Shlaine’s recent production? What about the rumored move for Benjamin Baumgartner? Leave your comments below and thank you for reading!