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New Jersey Devils Prospect Update: 5/10/21

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This week’s action was highlighted by Nico Daws signing his ELC, Binghamton going 0-3 in their second to last week of the AHL season, Dawson Mercer helping Chicoutimi immensely in the QMJHL playoffs, and the season coming to an end for the Devils Sioux City duo, Ethan Edwards and Akira Schmid, in the USHL.

2017 NHL Draft - Portraits
Reilly Walsh continues to develop nicely for the Devils as he’s been a top 10 defensemen in rookie scoring this season in the AHL.
Photo by Jeff Vinnick/NHLI via Getty Images

Welcome to the 31st week of the 2020-21 New Jersey Devils prospect update! What a strange, long but exciting season it has been for the prospects around the world. This week’s update is the penultimate in this season’s series as only the AHL team and Dawson Mercer in the QMJHL are still active. Speaking of Mercer, he continues to dominate the QMJHL into the playoffs. Ethan Edwards and Akira Schmid saw their USHL season come to an end but both had strong seasons. Nico Daws signed his entry-level contract with New Jersey a few days ago adding to the action last week. Let’s take a look at how each prospect performed last week.

AHL

Binghamton went 0-3 last week and now have just 3 games remaining in their season. Last Wednesday, Binghamton lost 6-3 to Wilkes-Barre/Scranton. Tyce Thompson and A.J. Greer had a goal and an assist each. Fabian Zetterlund had the other goal. Alexander Holtz had 2 assists followed by Brett Seney and Ryan Schmelzer with an assist each. Evan Cormier made 23 saves on 28 shots in the loss.

Line-up:

Last Friday, Binghamton dropped a close one 2-1 to Hershey. Reilly Walsh had the Devils goal with Nate Schnarr and Tyler Irvine earning the assists. Alexander Holtz and Nikita Okhotiuk were tied for the team lead in shots with 4 each. Gilles Senn made 23 saves on 25 shots in the loss.

Line-up:

Binghamton wrapped up their week on Saturday with a 4-1 loss to Wilkes-Barre/Scranton. Graeme Clarke had the Devils goal with Travis St. Denis and A.J. Greer picking up the assists. Evan Cormier made 31 saves on 34 shots in the loss. The line up was the same as the previous game with the only change being the goaltenders.

Here’s the stat lines for the Devils U24 forwards on Binghamton (min. 5 GP):

via eliteprospects.com

As of Sunday afternoon, Graeme Clarke ranks 10th among U20 forwards in scoring with 16 points in 28 games.

Here’s the stat lines for the Devils U24 defensemen on Binghamton (no min.):

via eliteprospects.com

As of Sunday afternoon, Reilly Walsh is 9th in rookie defenseman scoring with 14 points in 30 games.

Michael Vukojevic is 5th in scoring among U20 defensemen with 9 points in 24 games.

Qualified Goaltenders:

Gilles Senn: 16 GP, 884:05, 3-9-2, 3.66 GAA, .893 SV%, 0 SO

Evan Cormier: 10 GP, 607:14, 2-5-3, 3.46 GAA, .885 SV%, 0 SO

QMJHL

Dawson Mercer has helped Chicoutimi get up to a 2-0 lead in their best-of-five Quarterfinals series against Quebec. He had a goal, 2 assists (1 EV, 1 PP), even rating, 3 shots, and won 58.14% of his faceoffs across both games. Chicoutimi will look to close out the series tonight.

Playoff Stats: 5 GP 4-6-10, +4, 2 PIM, 33.33 SH%, 2.40 SH/GP, 2.00 Pts/GP, 63.33 FO%

NCAA

USHL

Unfortunately, the season has come to an end for Sioux City after they were eliminated 2-0 by Fargo in the Western Conference Finals. Thus is life in a best-of-three series. I should note that Game 1 featured a wild brawl, though Schmid opted to not get involved, knowing his team needed him on the ice:

Ethan Edwards had a goal, -2, 2 PIM, and 5 shots across both games. This concludes his USHL career as he is off to the University of Michigan next season. Check out his goal right off of a faceoff win below:

Playoff Stats: 4 GP 1-0-1, E, 6 PIM, 8.33 SH%, 3.00 SH/GP, 0.25 Pts/GP

Akira Schmid had a rare bad outing on Friday, making just 21 saves on 27 shots in a Game 1 loss. He played better on Saturday, making 29 saves on 31 shots, but it wasn’t enough to avoid the loss in Game 2.

Playoff Stats: 4 GP 2-2, 2.28 GAA, .920 SV%, 1 Shutout, 3 Quality Starts (75%), 1 Really Bad Start (25%)

Russia

KHL

VHL & MHL

Finland

Liiga

Sweden

SHL

Switzerland & Germany

Swiss National League, Deutsche Eishockey Liga

It was reported last week, but Lausanne HC have officially announced the signing of Benjamin Baumgartner.

Peter Ruicci of The Sault Star has this article on the decisions facing the Soo Greyhounds (OHL) ahead of next season. The article has quotes from Greyhounds GM Kyle Raftis in which he talks about the team’s import players and overage players situation. It does mention that Jaromir Pytlik is close to signing a pro contract with a team in Finland, as has been rumored, for a few weeks now. Essentially, the Greyhounds would be interested in him returning for his overage season but admittedly, have no idea what will happen and understand that he needs to find the best situation for himself ahead of next season.

Last Wednesday, the Devils announced that they have signed Nico Daws to a three-year, entry-level contract starting in the 2021-22 season. Cap Friendly has the details of the contract here. It looks like he will compete for playing time with Utica in the AHL next season.

I finally got around to gathering the DEL Goals Saved Above Average (GSAA) stats. 25 goaltenders played in at least 10 games last season in the DEL. On the surface his numbers were just below average. His -2.52 GSAA ranked 16th, his -0.26 GSAA per 60 minutes (GSAA/60) ranked 18th, and his -0.28 GSAA per 30 shots (GSAA/30) ranked 20th. There were 4 U21 goaltenders to play in at least 10 games last season. Among that peer group, Daws ranked 2nd in GSAA, GSAA/60, and GSAA/30. Tobias Ancicka ranked ahead of him with 13 GP, .917 SV%, 3.32 GSAA, 0.29 GSAA/60, and 0.31 GSAA/30.

Your Take

Which prospects stood out to you this week? How do you feel about the Devils signing Nico Daws to an ELC? What about Dawson Mercer’s continued strong play in the QMJHL? How would you assess the seasons that Ethan Edwards and Akira Schmid had? Leave your comments below and thank you for reading!