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New Jersey Devils Prospect Update: 1/18/22

This week’s update features Luke Hughes starring for Michigan, a duo of Devils prospects named to Russia’s preliminary Olympic roster, and Nate Schnarr continuing his breakout season with the Utica Comets.

New Jersey Devils Headshots
Nate Schnarr has 3 goals and 2 assists over his past 2 games for Utica as he continues his breakout season.
Photo by Andrew Maclean/NHLI via Getty Images

Welcome to the 14th week of the 2021-22 New Jersey Devils prospect update! This week saw Chase Stillman make his Peterborough Petes debut, Luke Hughes continue to show that he’s one of the best prospects in college hockey, and Arseni Gritsyuk and Shakir Mukhamadullin make the shortlist for Russia’s Olympic roster. Nate Schnarr continued to be an offensive leader for Utica and Nico Daws made his return to the crease after missing a few weeks. Let’s check in on each prospect now.

OHL

Chase Stillman made his debut for his hometown Peterborough Petes last week. Across 3 games he had a PP goal, -5, 2 PIM, 6 shots, and lost 2 faceoffs. He was used in a top 6 right wing role with his center being 18 year old Tucker Robertson for all 3 games. Robertson currently has 42 points in 31 games and is draft eligible after being undrafted last year. 16 year old rookie Nick Lardis who has 20 points in 28 games skated on his left wing for the first 2 games. 20 year old Emmett Sproule who has 43 points in 31 games was on his left wing in the third game. Check out Stillman’s first goal for the Petes:

NCAA

Patrick Moynihan had a PP assist, +1, and 5 shots across 2 games last weekend as Providence was swept by Merrimack.

Case McCarthy missed his 2nd game in a row for Boston University as they defeated UConn 2-1 in overtime last Friday.

Artem Shlaine was a -1 with 5 shots, and won 13/32 faceoffs (40.63%) as UConn lost to both American International and Boston University last week.

Arizona State won all 3 of their games last week, defeating Northeastern last Tuesday and RIT twice over the weekend. Unfortunately, Cole Brady didn’t see any action in any of those games. Ben Kraws started all of those games for ASU and had a .946 SV% across them. Hopefully Brady will get another chance soon in what has been another challenging season for him.

Ethan Edwards was a -2 with 4 shots across both of Michigan’s victories over Penn State last weekend. Michigan has now won 4 in a row. You can see both of the Devils prospects on Michigan in action against Minnesota this Friday at 9:00 PM ET on ESPNU and this Saturday at 7:30 PM ET on the Big Ten Network.

Luke Hughes continues to shine for Michigan. Across 2 games last weekend, Hughes had 2 goals, an assist, +2, and 8 shots. He split time on both the left and right side of the 2nd defensive pairing for Michigan. He’s currently tied for the lead in goals by a defensemen in the NCAA (9) with his teammate Nick Blankenburg. He’s currently tied for 2nd in points by a defensemen (22) with Jake Sanderson, just 2 points behind his teammate Owen Power. His 0.92 points per game rate currently ranks 3rd among U19 defensemen in the NCAA over the past 10 seasons, just trailing Adam Fox (1.14 in 2016-17) and Zach Werenski (1.00 in 2015-16).

Connor Earegood of The Michigan Daily has this informative article on Hughes’ speed and how it helped Michigan defeat Penn State this past weekend. Here’s what Hughes’ coach had to say about his game:

“It’s almost like having another forward on the ice back there,” Michigan coach Mel Pearson said, “He really uses his skating to his advantage, to create scoring opportunities not only for himself but his teammates.”

Check out his latest goals and assist below:

Russia

KHL & VHL

The KHL had to cancel and postpone a number of games last week due to positive Covid tests. Across the league, the games on January 15, 17, 19, and 21 were postponed to later dates. The league is now entering it’s Olympic break which will last until February 22. Speaking of the Olympics, according to KHL Talk on twitter, both Arseni Gritsyuk and Shakir Mukhamadullin were named to Russia’s preliminary roster yesterday. This roster contains 36 players and will be cut down to 25 with the final roster being announced on January 23. KHL Talk also notes that Mukhamadullin hasn’t joined the training camp as of yesterday for health reasons.

Yegor Zaitsev was a +1 with 2 shots in 18:20 in Dynamo’s 3-2 victory over Jokerit last Tuesday.

Daniil Misyul and Lokomotiv didn’t play any games last week.

Arseni Gritsyuk and Avangard didn’t play any games last week.

Shakir Mukhamadullin and Salavat Yulaev didn’t play any games last week.

Zakhar Bardakov was a -1 with 2 PIM and won 1/7 faceoffs in 9:56 in SKA’s 3-1 victory over Ak Bars last Tuesday. He had an even rating and played just 1:40 in SKA’s 2-1 victory over HC Sochi last Thursday.

Finland

Liiga, Mestis, & U20-SM-sarja

Eetu Pakkila didn’t play in Ilves first 2 games of the week. He returned to the lineup for yesterday’s game and had an even rating with 2 shots in 11:11.

Topias Vilen wasn’t in the line up for either of Pelicans games last weekend.

Samu Salminen and Jokerit U20 are scheduled to resume their season on January 26 against HIFK U20. Salminen’s last game came a month ago against Karpat U20.

Sweden

SHL, Allsvenskan, & J20 Nationell

Nikola Pasic had an even rating and a shot in Södertälje SK’s 2-0 victory over BIK Karlskoga on Sunday.

Viktor Hurtig and Mora IK J20 were off last week.

The Rest of Europe

Swiss National League, Czech Extraliga, & Czech 1.liga

Benjamin Baumgartner had a goal, +1, and 4 shots in 13:12 in Lausanne HC’s 3-2 victory over HC Ambri-Piotta on Sunday. This was a nice return to the lineup for Baumgartner after he missed 2 games in a row due to being sick. Check out his goal below:

Jaromir Pytlik was a -2 with 2 PIM, a shot, and averaged 15:08 across 2 games last week.

Jakub Malek made 21 saves on 26 shots in a loss to HC Dukla Jihlava in the Czech 2nd division last Wednesday. This was his first league game in over a month due to traveling for the World Junior Championship. In an effort to get him more game time and back to a normal schedule, he went and played in a U20 game for VHK Vsetin last Friday. In that game he made 40 saves on 41 shots to lead his team to victory.

AHL

The Utica Comets won 1 of their 3 games last week. They still have the best winning percentage in the league at .786. Their 20.7 PP% ranks 9th in the league while their 82.8 PK% ranks 8th. This was a tough week for them having to play their first game shorthanded and all of the games with a makeshift roster featuring some ECHL callups.

Wednesday 1/12: The Utica Comets lost to the Rochester Americans 7-6. Utica entered this game with just 10 forwards and 6 defensemen available. Nikita Okhotiuk was thrown out of the game midway through the 1st period so they had to play the majority of the game with 10 forwards and 5 defensemen. The Comets did show tremendous heart as they battled back on numerous occasions to make it a close game. They went down 3-0 in the 1st period before Ryan Schmezler (SH, from Chase De Leo) and Tyler Irvine (from Michael Vukojevic and Robbie Russo) scored to make it 3-2. Rochester would then score the next 4 goals to take a 7-2 lead midway through the 2nd period. Russo would score towards the end of the period (PP, from Aarne Talvitie and Joe Gambardealla) to make it 7-3. Then in the 3rd period, the Comets would score three times to cut the deficit to a goal. Vukojevic (from Samuel Laberge and Irvine), Schmezler from (Fabian Zetterlund and Russo), and Tyler Wotherspoon (from De Leo and Reilly Walsh) would have those goals. Mareks Mitens would make 21 saves on 28 shots as he did his best with a depleted lineup in front of him. Utica outshot Rochester 29-28. Utica went 1/3 on the PP and 3/6 on the PK. Here is the gamesheet, highlights, and lineup (at least at the start, before heavy rotation took place):

Lineup:

7 De Leo - 26 Schmezler - 20 Zetterlund

15 Gambardella - 16 Schnarr - 14 Irvine

39 Laberge - 77 Talvitie - 13 McGrath

- 18 Rivera -

23 Wotherspoon - 82 Okhotiuk

2 Vukojevic - 5 Russo

11 Masonius - 22 Walsh

34 Mitens

31 Tomeo

Friday 1/14: The Utica Comets defeated the Syracuse Crunch 4-3. Fabian Zetterlund provided the opening goal for the Comets as well as the game winner in overtime. Nate Schnarr had the 2 goals between to keep the Comets in the game. Both Zetterlund and Schnarr had an assist each. Other Comets with an assist included Nolan Foote, Robbie Russo, Alexander Holtz, Chase De Leo, and Reilly Walsh. Schnarr led the Comets with 6 shots. Mareks Mitens made 31 saves on 34 shots to pick up the victory. Syracuse outshot Utica 34-20. Utica went 0/1 on the PP and 4/5 on the PK. Here is the gamesheet and highlights:

Saturday 1/15: The Utica Comets lost to the Syracuse Crunch 4-3 in overtime. Joe Gambardella, Nate Schnarr, and Nolan Foote had the goals for the Comets. Ryan Schmezler, Alexander Holtz, Foote, Reilly Walsh, Tyler Wotherspoon, and Schnarr had an assist each. Holtz and Fabian Zetterlund led the Comets with 3 shots each. Nico Daws made his return to the lineup after suffering an injury on December 8. Daws made 34 saves on 38 shots in 62:13. Here is the gamesheet and highlights:

Coming Up: Utica will take on Laval on Wednesday and Syracuse on Friday and Saturday.

ECHL

Adirondack lost their only game last week, 6-2 to Reading on Wednesday. They are set to take on Reading on Friday and then Worcester on Saturday and Sunday.

Your Take

Which prospects stood out to you this past week? What are your thoughts about Hughes’ game? Do you expect Gritsyuk or Mukhamadullin to make Russia’s Olympic team? Leave your comments below and thank you for reading!