Welcome to the 27th week of the 2020-21 New Jersey Devils prospect update! This week was highlighted by Daniil Misyul and Loko Yaroslavl advancing to the Kharlamov Cup Finals in the MHL. In the USHL, Akira Schmid continued to be the league’s best goaltender as he carries Sioux City towards the playoffs. Meanwhile, two Devils prospects saw their playoff campaigns cut short as Alexander Holtz and Djurgardens IF and Benjamin Baumgartner and HC Davos were eliminated in Sweden and Switzerland respectively. Let’s take a look at how each prospect performed over the past week.
Dawson Mercer and Chicoutimi were off last week as the playoffs are delayed due to multiple teams under quarantine. The league announced a few days ago that the Quebec teams will start the playoffs on 4/23 with all the teams starting in the first round to avoid inactivity. Byron Bader of Hockey Prospecting shared this update on Mercer (and Holtz) from his model:
Dawson Mercer and Alexander Holtz continue to be the two very best of friends, in terms of their production development. Neither really saw much growth in their D1 season and, despite playing in much different leagues, they look basically identical to each other. https://t.co/rWO4uYQYps pic.twitter.com/FH5t7AmWnS— Byron Bader (@ByronMBader) April 7, 2021
Matt Hellickson signed an AHL deal with the Binghamton Devils last Thursday.
Aarne Talvitie picked up his first professional point last Saturday for Binghamton.
Tyce Thompson picked up his first NHL point last Tuesday for New Jersey.
First NHL game, first NHL point.— NHL (@NHL) April 6, 2021
Congrats, Tyce Thompson! pic.twitter.com/ny6kfn6Cr4
Ethan Edwards had a PP assist, -1, 6 PIM, and 7 shots across 2 games last week. Peter Robinson has this feature on Akira Schmid over at the Devils website last Wednesday. In that feature Schmid gives some praise to his teammate and fellow Devils prospect Ethan Edwards:
“He’s got great skills, with the puck and his skating,” said Schmid of the Musketeers defenseman, “but he’s also been great defensively. I don’t think he’s been on for a goal against during our winning streak.”
Akira Schmid stopped all 30 shots he faced in 50:54 in a victory over Des Moines last Friday. He missed a few minutes in the middle of the game after suffering a cut on his head. He made 22 saves on 23 shots in 65:00 in a victory over Omaha the following night. Schmid continues to lead the league with his .917 SV%. He’s been awesome over his past 28 games with a 17-10-1-0 record, .923 SV%, and 20 Quality Starts (71.43%). He even picked up his 3rd Goaltender of the Week honors over the past 5 weeks.
Shane Lantz has this article on Schmid for the Sioux City Journal that features quotes from the goaltender and his coach. Schmid has earned plenty of praise lately but seems to be keeping himself grounded:
“That’s all in the past now, so I can’t really focus on that too much,” Schmid said. “Obviously, it’s nice to get recognized sometimes, but you still have to put the work in. It’s not getting any easier, so I’ve got to work hard every day. But it’s nice.”
I know it was mentioned before that Schmid’s injured hip derailed his season last year and that he had surgery on it. I didn’t realize that he actually had to have double-hip surgery as Musketeers head coach Luke Strand mentioned:
“He was a little dinged up last year, so he had double-hip surgery in the offseason. To come back full circle, and putting up this performance right now, it’s showing the runway for his future.”
The article also mentions that Schmid could head to Europe next year to transition to the professional level and try to earn a contract with the Devils that way. The Devils hold his rights until 6/1/22.
VHL & MHL
Daniil Misyul was a -5 with 4 PIM and 2 shots while averaging 15:58 across 2 MHL games last week. His team, Loko Yaroslavl, has advanced to the Kharlamov Cup Finals and will play JHC Dynamo Moscow.
MHL Playoff Stats: 4 GP 0-0-0, -4, 8 PIM, 0.00 SH%, 1.00 SH/GP, 0.00 Pts/GP, 17:31 ATOI
Arseni Gritsyuk didn’t play in any of Avangard’s 3 games last week. #2 Avangard Omsk is up 3-2 over #1 Ak Bars Kazan in their Eastern Conference Finals series. The winner will take on the top seeded team from the Western Conference, CSKA Moscow for the Gagarin Cup Finals.
KHL Playoff Stats: 1 GP 0-0-0, E, 0 PIM, 0.00 SH%, 1.00 SH/GP, 0.00 Pts/GP, 6:45 ATOI
Eetu Pakkila had a goal, even rating, and 8 shots while averaging 13:35 across 3 games last week. Ilves will be heading to postseason play but will find out their seeding later today after the final Liiga regular season games are played.
SHL & Allsvenskan
Alexander Holtz’s season came to an end as Djurgardens IF was eliminated in the play-in series by Frolunda HC 2-1. As noted last week, Holtz hardly played in Game 1 but he rebounded in a big way. In Game 2 he had 2 goals, 2 assists, +3, 2 PIM, and 5 shots in 15:15. Unfortunately, he wasn’t able to get on the scoresheet in the deciding Game 3, going a -1 with 3 shots in 14:39. You can check out his goals below:
Playoff Stats: 3 GP 2-2-4, +2, 2 PIM, 25.00 SH%, 2.67 SH/GP, 1.33 Pts/GP, 10:38 ATOI
Chris Ryan of NJ.com reports that General Manager Tom Fitzgerald is working to bring Holtz over now that his season in Sweden is over:
“We’re working on a contract for Alexander and immigration,” Fitzgerald said. “I don’t have a timetable on when that will happen.”
Switzerland & Germany
Swiss National League, Deutsche Eishockey Liga
Benjamin Baumgartner saw his season come to an end as HC Davos lost their play-in series to SC Bern 2-1. He had 3 goals, +1, 15 shots, and won 59.38% of his faceoffs while averaging 17:58 across the 3 games. Elite Prospects list his contract as ending after this season so it’s possible the Devils sign the soon to be 21 year old forward. They hold his rights until 6/1/22 so they do have time if they wish to use it.
Playoff Stats: 3 GP 3-0-3, +1, 0 PIM, 20.00 SH%, 5.00 SH/GP, 1.00 Pts/GP, 59.38 FO%, 17:58 ATOI
Nico Daws made 20 saves on 22 shots in 65:00 against Kolner Haie last Saturday. He made 3 saves on 4 shootout attempts to pick up the win. Yesterday, he made 31 saves on 37 shots in a loss to Grizzlys Wolfsburg. The goals he gave up were evenly split between even strength and when his team was down a man.
Which prospects stood out to you this week? How do you feel about the seasons that Alexander Holtz and Benjamin Baumgartner had? What do you expect from these players in the future? Leave your comments below and thank you for reading!