Welcome to the 26th week of the 2020-21 New Jersey Devils prospect update! This week saw the regular season come to an end for Dawson Mercer in the QMJHL, as well as Nikola Pasic and Alexander Holtz in Sweden. The playoffs are well underway in Russia and Daniil Misyul has moved down to the MHL to continue his season. Ethan Edwards has continued to be one of the best 18 year old defensemen in the USHL while Akira Schmid remains the top goaltender for another week. Before we check in on what last week held for each prospect, I wanted to share this Top 75 Prospect List from Craig Button of TSN. Here he ranks affiliated prospects not yet established in the NHL. The Devils have Alexander Holtz (11), Shakir Mukhamadullin (38), Nolan Foote (49), and Dawson Mercer (52) on the list.
Dawson Mercer had 2 goals, +2, 6 shots, and won 50.00% of his faceoffs across Chicoutimi’s final 2 regular season games last week. Both goals came in last Wednesday’s game against Victoriaville. He was held off the scoresheet against Shawinigan last Friday, making it just the 2nd time he failed to register a point in a game this season. Check out his latest goals below:
Here is an overview of the playoff format the QMJHL is using this season. The Quebec teams were supposed to start the playoffs on April 8, while the Maritimes teams were supposed to enter on May 4. The QMJHL announced a few days ago that they would delay the start of the playoffs after positive COVID cases were found on Gatineau and Quebec forcing 5 teams into isolation. For both divisions based in Quebec, there will be a qualifying series (best-of-five) between the #3 vs. #6 and #4 vs. #5 seeds. Seeds #1 and #2, of which Chicoutimi is the #1 out of the East Division, automatically qualify for the 2nd round (best-of-seven). There is more to it after that, as outlined in that article, but that’s everything we need to know for now.
Aarne Talvitie made his professional debut for Binghamton last Wednesday. He has no points and a +1 through his first 2 games. He’s currently playing his 3rd game as I write this post.
Tyce Thompson hasn’t made his debut for the Devils yet as he is still getting acclimated to the NHL by practicing with the team.
The Devils don’t have any prospects in the Frozen Four but the games should be fun to watch. On Thursday, St. Cloud State will take on Minnesota State at 5:00 PM ET on ESPN2. Following that game, Minnesota Duluth will take on Massachusetts at 9:00 PM ET on ESPN2. The championship game will be on Saturday at 7:00 PM ET on ESPN.
Ethan Edwards had 3 assists (2 PP, 1 SH), -1, 19 PIM, and 9 shots across 3 games last week. He picked up a major for boarding and a game misconduct in Saturday’s game. Right now he ranks 5th among U19 defensemen (min. 40 GP) in scoring with 24 points in 45 games.
Akira Schmid picked up a pair of wins last week to extend his winning streak to 6 games. Last Wednesday, Schmid had a 23 save shutout against Sioux Falls. A couple of nights later he made 17 saves on 18 shots in a victory over Lincoln. He now has a 15-10-1-0 record over his last 26 games with a .918 SV%, 2 shutouts, and 18 Quality Starts (69.23%). He continues to lead the league with a .912 SV%.
VHL & MHL
Daniil Misyul’s season isn’t over just yet as he’s been sent down to the MHL (juniors) to help with the playoffs for Loko Yaroslavl. He was a +1 with 4 PIM, a shot, and average ice time of 19:05 across 2 games last week. Loko Yaroslavl is up 2-0 in their best-of-five semifinals series over Irbis. The winner moves on to the Kharlamov Cup Championship.
MHL Playoff Stats: 2 GP 0-0-0, +1, 4 PIM, 0.00 SH%, 1.00 SH/GP, 0.00 Pts/GP, 19:05 ATOI
Arseni Gritsyuk didn’t play in either of Avangard’s 2 games last week. #2 Avangard Omsk is currently up 2-0 in their Eastern Conference Finals series against #1 Ak Bars Kazan.
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 and Ilves were off last week. They conclude their regular season with 3 games this week. Ilves is currently in 5th place by points per game and will be heading to the postseason. The top 6 teams advance to the Quarterfinals while teams 7-10 play in a wild-card round.
SHL & Allsvenskan
Nikola Pasic had an even rating and a shot in 12:49 in his final game of the season last Saturday. Linkoping didn’t make the playoffs but managed to avoid the relegation series. This concludes the 20 year old’s first full time SHL season where he finished 15th in scoring among U21 players. Pasic didn’t pick up any PIM’s this season. In-fact, he hasn’t picked up any PIM’s at all in his 70 game SHL career. Pasic’s contract with Linkoping runs through the 2022-23 season. The Devils hold his rights until June 1, 2023.
Alexander Holtz and Djurgardens IF made the playoffs as the #10 team and are taking on #7 Frolunda HC in the play-in round (best-of-three). Holtz played just 2 minutes in the opening game loss yesterday as Djurgardens IF now faces elimination. They will need to win on Wednesday and Thursday to keep their season going. According to this report from HockeyNews.se, Holtz did go back on the ice after the game for some extra training as he tries to prove that he should play a larger role.
Playoff Stats: 1 GP 0-0-0, E, 0 PIM, 0.00 SH%, 0.00 SH/GP, 0.00 Pts/GP, 2:00 ATOI
Switzerland & Germany
Swiss National League, Deutsche Eishockey Liga
Benjamin Baumgartner was a -1 with 2 PIM, and won 5/8 faceoffs while averaging 8:37 across 2 games last week. He didn’t play in Saturday’s game against HC Ambri-Piotta. HC Davos concludes their regular season with 3 games this week. They are currently in 8th place according to points per game and likely to end up in a play-in series for the playoffs.
Nico Daws made 20 saves on 23 shots in a victory over Dusseldorfer EG yesterday. He is one of six U21 goaltenders to play in the DEL this season and one of four to play at least 7 games. Out of these goaltenders he has the 2nd highest SV%.
Which prospects stood out to you this week? How do you feel about the regular season Dawson Mercer had? What about the play of the Devils Sioux City duo in Ethan Edwards and Akira Schmid? Leave your comments below and thank you for reading!