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New Jersey Devils Prospect Update: 3/9/21

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This week’s action is highlighted by Dawson Mercer’s dominant play in the QMJHL, Cole Brady finishing his season strong for Arizona State, Ethan Edwards and Akira Schmid starring for Sioux City, and the KHL playoffs getting underway.

2020 CHL/NHL Top Prospects Game
Dawson Mercer has been one of the most dominant players in the QMJHL this season.
Photo by Vaughn Ridley/Getty Images

Welcome to the 22nd week of the 2020-21 New Jersey Devils prospect update! This action packed week saw Dawson Mercer continue to be a top player in the QMJHL, Cole Brady finish his freshman season on a high note, the Devils Sioux City duo of Ethan Edwards and Akira Schmid continue their runs of terrific play, and it saw the KHL playoffs get underway for a trio of prospects. Let’s take a look at how each prospect performed over the past week.

QMJHL

Dawson Mercer continues to dominate for Chicoutimi. In 4 games last week he put up 3 goals (2 EV, 1 SH), 5 assists (1 EV, 4 PP), +5, 9 shots, and won 46.81% of his faceoffs. The goals came in Saturday’s 9-5 victory over Baie-Comeau and was his 2nd hat trick in 6 games. Notably, Mercer’s only been held off the scoresheet once this season, back on 1/31 against Victoriaville. Right now Mercer’s 1.53 points per game rate ranks 5th in the QMJHL. Check out his impressive short handed goal below:

NCAA

Matt Hellickson had 2 assists, +3, and a shot as Notre Dame defeated Penn State twice last weekend to close out the regular season. Notre Dame is the #4 seed in the Big Ten Tournament and will take on #5 Penn State next Sunday at 12 PM ET in the Quarterfinals. This year’s tournament is single elimination with the Semifinals following on Monday and the Final on Tuesday. All the games will be broadcast on the Big Ten Network and here is the full schedule.

Aarne Talvitie was a -3 with 5 shots and won 50.0% of his faceoffs across those 2 games against Notre Dame. This series was the first time Penn State had played since 1/29 and it was Talvitie’s first game since 1/28.

Tyce Thompson had a PP goal, even rating, 2 PIM, and 4 shots in a loss to UConn last Friday. Providence is the #5 seed in the Hockey East Tournament and will take on #4 UConn in the Quarterfinals next Sunday. This tournament is also single elimination with the Semifinals being played on 3/17 and the Final on 3/20.

Patrick Moynihan had a PP assist and -1 in that loss to UConn. He now has 5 goals and 7 assists over his last 10 games, only being held off the scoresheet in one of those games.

Case McCarthy was a +2 with 3 shots as Boston University tied UMass Lowell on Saturday. Boston University is the #2 seed in the Hockey East Tournament and will play the 2nd lowest seed to advance from the 4-team Opening Round, in the Quarterfinals next Sunday.

Artem Shlaine was a -2 with a shot and won 5/11 faceoffs in UConn’s win over Providence last Friday.

Cole Brady made 11 saves on 16 shots in 26:41 in a 8-3 loss to Ohio State last Thursday. He rebounded big time from that outing with a 41 save shutout victory over Ohio State the following night. ASU played an all-road schedule against Big Ten teams this season but isn’t participating in any tournament so their season is over.

Brady closed out his freshman season strong since returning from mono on 2/14. In 6 games (all starts) he went 2-3-1 with 4 Quality Starts and a .929 SV%. I plan on adding in his Goals Saved Above Average numbers compared to Big Ten goaltenders after the season has ended. Overall, I have to say that I think this year was a success for Brady. He had to deal with adversity in terms of playing on a team that doesn’t play great defense, had a crazy travel schedule, and he battled illness himself. There is certainly room for improvement but to finish with a .910 SV% all things considered is no small feat. Here were Brady’s thoughts before the season finale:

“It’s been a long season. We took on something a lot of people didn’t think was possible and we gave ourselves a challenge, but we earned everything we got this season. We worked as hard as we could. And just going into tonight, we knew it was the last one so we just want to make sure you left everything on the table like we did all year and we’re happy with how it ended. It was a long process but it’s all worth it.” -Cole Brady on the season and going into tonight’s game

USHL

Ethan Edwards had 2 goals (1 PP, 1 EN), 4 assists (2 EV, 2 PP), +2, 4 PIM, and 6 shots across 3 games last week. Edwards has really amped up his offensive production lately with 5 goals and 6 assists over his last 11 games. Check out this nice PP blast by Edwards:

Akira Schmid had a 27 save shutout in a victory over Des Moines on Friday. He followed that up by making 25 saves on 27 shots in another victory over Des Moines on Saturday. He’s been playing well lately with a .946 SV% over his last 4 games (all starts). Schmid’s .907 SV% ranks 3rd in the USHL, trailing the leader, Todd Scott, by .003. Check out this nice save he made recently:

Russia

KHL

VHL & MHL

Yegor Zaitsev had an assist, even rating, 2 PIM, 7 shots, and averaged 18:41 across 4 KHL games last week. #3 Dynamo Moscow is up 3-1 in their series against #6 Severstal in the Western Conference Quarterfinals.

Playoff Stats: 4 GP, 0-1-1, E, 2 PIM, 0.0 SH%, 1.8 SH/GP, 18:41 ATOI

Daniil Misyul had an even rating, 10 PIM, and 4 shots while averaging 11:20 across 2 KHL games last week. #4 Lokomotiv Yaroslavl is up 3-0 in their series against #5 Jokerit in the Western Conference Quarterfinals. Misyul only played 2:58 in Game 1 (where he had the 10 minute misconduct) but did play 19:53 in Game 3.

Playoff Stats: 2 GP, 0-0-0, E, 10 PIM, 0.0 SH%, 2.0 SH/GP, 11:20 ATOI

Arseni Gritsyuk had an even rating and a shot in 6:45 in his only KHL game last week. #2 Avangard Omsk is up 3-1 in their series against #7 Avtomobilist in the Eastern Conference Quarterfinals.

Playoff Stats: 1 GP, 0-0-0, E, 0 PIM, 0.0 SH%, 1.0 SH/GP, 6:45 ATOI

Shakir Mukhamadullin is still out injured and questionable for the playoffs. The good news is that he has been skating with the team. #4 Salavat Yulaev Ufa is up 2-1 in their series against #5 Traktor in the Eastern Conference Quarterfinals.

Finland

Liiga

Eetu Pakkila had a PP assist, -1, and 8 shots while averaging 16:08 across 3 games last week.

Sweden

SHL & Allsvenskan

Nikola Pasic was a +1 in 10:43 in Linkoping’s only game last week. Linkoping has 5 regular season games left and is in 11th place out of the 14 team SHL. The top 10 teams make the playoffs with seeds #1 to #6 advancing directly to the Quarterfinals. Seeds #7 to #10 play in a best-of-three play-in series known as the Eighthfinals. Teams #11 and #12 will just see their seasons end. Teams #13 and #14 play in the relegation playoffs. Linkoping has 53 points and are 8 points out of a playoff spot and 4 points clear of a relegation playoff spot.

Alexander Holtz and Djurgarden had last week off. Djurgarden has 5 regular season games left and is in 9th place, 8 points clear of Linkoping.

The Rest of Europe

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

Benjamin Baumgartner was a -1 with 2 PIM, 2 shots, and won 6/10 faceoffs in 16:49 of HC Davos’ only game last week.

Nico Daws made 27 saves on 31 shots in a victory over Augsburger last Friday. This was his first game since 2/18.

Your Take

Which prospects stood out to you this week? How excited are you about Dawson Mercer’s future? What is your opinion on Cole Brady’s freshman season? What about the recent play of Ethan Edwards and Akira Schmid? Leave your comments below and thank you for reading!