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New Jersey Devils Prospect Update: 1/25/22

This week’s update features Chase Stillman heating up for Peterborough, Arseni Gritsyuk being named to Russia’s Olympic team, and the Utica Comets continuing to lead the AHL after picking up 2 more wins.

Russia v Czech Republic: Preliminary Round Group B - 2021 IIHF World Junior Championship
Arseni Gritsyuk has been named to the Russian Olympic team!
Photo by Codie McLachlan/Getty Images

Welcome to the 15th week of the 2021-22 New Jersey Devils prospect update! This week saw Chase Stillman showcase his offensive skills for the Peterborough Petes, Patrick Moynihan continue this productive play for Providence, and Arseni Gritsyuk make the Russian Olympic team. It also saw the Utica Comets pick up 2 more wins due to strong performances from Alexander Holtz, Fabian Zetterlund, Nolan Foote, and Reilly Walsh. Let’s check in on each prospect now.

OHL

Chase Stillman had 3 assists (2 EV, 1 PP), +2, 3 shots, and won 3/4 faceoffs in 2 games last week. He now has 4 points in 5 games since joining the Petes. Check out two of his recent assists below:

NCAA

Patrick Moynihan had 2 PP assists, an even rating, and 6 shots in 2 games last week. Both of his assists came in Providence’s 7-0 victory over Boston College last Friday. He now has 18 points over his last 15 games. Check out one his recent assists below:

Case McCarthy missed both of Boston University’s games last weekend. He has now missed 4 games in a row.

Artem Shlaine had an even rating, 2 PIM, 4 shots, and won 11/22 faceoffs in 2 games for UConn last week. A streaky player so far in his college career, he now has no points over his last 4 games after having 9 points in 11 games.

Cole Brady and Arizona State were scheduled to take on Lindenwood for 2 exhibition games last weekend but they both ended up being canceled.

Ethan Edwards had an assist, +1, 2 PIM, and 3 shots in 2 games for Michigan last weekend.

Luke Hughes was a -1 across both of those games for Michigan as they split the series with Minnesota.

Russia

KHL & VHL

The KHL is on their Olympic break so Yegor Zaitsev, Daniil Misyul, Arseni Gritsyuk, Shakir Mukhamadullin, and Zakhar Bardakov had no games last week. There was some big news though as Gritsyuk was named to Russia’s Olympic roster. It’s great to see him being rewarded for having a great season in the KHL by getting to represent his country in the Olympics. Here’s a closer look at how his season compares to his peers:

Finland

Liiga, Mestis, & U20-SM-sarja

Eetu Pakkila and Ilves had last week off.

Topias Vilen missed 3 games in a row but returned to the Pelicans lineup for last Thursday’s game against Karpat. They seemed to be easing him back into the line up as he played just 5:09. This was his first game since December 30.

It seems that Jokerit U20 had more games postponed due to restrictions in Finland. Samu Salminen hasn’t played a game since December 18. They are currently scheduled to play their next game on February 9.

Sweden

SHL, Allsvenskan, & J20 Nationell

Nikola Pasic was a -3 with 8 shots and won all 3 faceoffs he took across 3 games for Södertälje last week. It seems that his struggles have continued despite dropping down to the Allsvenskan (2nd tier). He now has no points over his last 6 games. It is worth noting that Södertälje has struggled as a team this year and are currently in 13th place out of 14. The bottom two teams in the league eventually play a relegation “playout” to see who drops down to the Ettan (3rd tier).

Viktor Hurtig had a goal, assist, +1, and 8 shots in 2 games last week. These were his first points since joining Mora IK J20.

The Rest of Europe

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

Benjamin Baumgartner was -1 with a shot, won 16/30 faceoffs (53.33%), and averaged 15:13 across 3 games last week.

Jaromir Pytlik was a +1 with 3 shots and averaged 17:01 across 2 games last week. He averaged 4:53 in PP ice time across those 2 games.

Jakub Malek and VHK Vsetin’s only game last week ended up being postponed.

AHL

The Utica Comets won 2 of their 3 games last week. They continue to lead the league with a .774 winning percentage. Their 23.9 PP% ranks 3rd in the league and their 81.1 PK% is tied-17th in the league.

Wednesday 1/19: The Utica Comets lost 4-3 to the Laval Rocket. The goals for the Comets came from Alexander Holtz (Aarne Talvitie, Kevin Bahl), Nate Schnarr (Fabian Zetterlund, Michael Vukojevic), and Vukojevic (Nolan Foote, Zetterlund). Holtz and Chase De Leo led the way with 5 shots each. Nico Daws made 24 saves on 28 shots. The Comets outshot the Rocket 32-28. Utica went 0/3 on the PP and 0/3 on the PK. Here is the gamesheet.

Friday 1/21: The Utica Comets defeated the Syracuse Crunch 4-1. They jumped out to an early lead just under a minute and a half into the game when Nick Rivera jumped off the bench to gather a loose puck in the neutral zone, passed it to Aarne Talvitie, who then set up Alexander Holtz for the goal. The back and forth 1st period saw both teams exchange chances with Syracuse outshooting Utica 11-8. Rivera and Nikita Okhotiuk also helped set the tone for the game with a couple of big, clean hits.

The action and intensity would pick up even more in the 2nd period. Utica earned 2 early PP’s with Nolan Foote (from Chase De Leo and Reilly Walsh) converting on the 2nd one. In the middle part of the period, Akira Schmid made some nice saves on a partial breakaway and a 2v1. Late in the period, Fabian Zetterlund gave Utica a 3-0 lead off a nice give and go with Nolan Foote. The period ended with double minors assessed to Kevin Bahl and P.C. Labrie after a wrestling match.

The 3rd period would see Rivera fight Shawn Element about 5 minutes in after a big hit by the Crunch player. Unfortunately, Rivera seemed to hit his head on the ice when they fell and left the game immediately. Shortly after that Ryan Schmelzer nearly had a goal but hit the post after Zetterlund had set him up. Eventually, Nate Schnarr would give Utica a 4-0 lead and seal the game with an empty net goal with Schmelzer earning the assist. Unfortunately, Schmid lost his shutout bid with 2:14 left when Sean Day fired one past him. Holtz, Zetterlund, and Foote each had 3 shots. Schmid made 34 saves on 35 shots. Syracuse outshot Utica 35-23. Utica went 1/2 on the PP and 1/1 on the PK. Here is the gamesheet, highlights, and lineup:

Lineup:

25 Foote - 16 Schnarr - 20 Zetterlund

7 De Leo - 77 Talvitie - 9 Holtz

15 Gambardella- 26 Schmelzer - 18 Rivera

39 Laberge - 33 Gauthier - 10 Flynn

82 Okhotiuk - 22 Walsh

88 Bahl - 23 Wotherspoon

2 Vukojevic - 5 Russo

93 Schmid

35 Daws

PP1: De Leo, Schnarr, Foote, Holtz Walsh

PP2: Zetterlund, Flynn, Gambardella, Vukojevic, Russo

PK1: Foote, Schmelzer, Bahl, Wotherspoon

PK2: Laberge, Gauthier, Okhotiuk, Russo (De Leo and Talvitie also saw time)

Scratches: Irvine, Clarke, Groleau

Saturday 1/22: The Utica Comets defeated the Syracuse Crunch 6-3. The goals for the Comets came from Alexander Holtz (PP, Reilly Walsh, Chase De Leo), Holtz (PP, Walsh, Nolan Foote), Walsh (PP, De Leo, Fabian Zetterlund), Brian Flynn (Samuel Laberge, Tyler Wotherspoon), De Leo (PP, Ryan Schmelzer, Holtz), and Foote (EN/SH, Frederik Gauthier). De Leo led the team with 5 shots. Nico Daws made 27 saves on 30 shots. Syracuse outshot Utica 30-22. Utica went 4/5 on the PP and 3/3 on the PK. Here is the gamesheet, lineup, and highlights:

Transactions: G Mareks Mitens and RW Patrick McGrath were returned to Adirondack on 1/20 and 1/21 respectively. RW Tyler Irvine was recalled from Adirondack on 1/21. LW A.J. Greer was returned from New Jersey on 1/24.

News and Notes:

  • Notable performers over last week (all 3 games) include Alexander Holtz with 4 goals and 1 assist, Nolan Foote with 2 goals and 3 assists, Fabian Zetterlund with 1 goal and 3 assists, and Reilly Walsh with 1 goal and 3 assists
  • Nolan Foote has points in all 5 games since being sent down (3 goals and 5 assists; 7 of the 8 points are primary; 5 EV/2 PP/1 EN)
  • Goalie Game Score per Game via AHL Tracker (minimum 10 GP): Schmid ranks 1st with a 1.63 GS/GP AND Daws ranks 10th with a 0.84 GS/G. Among U23 goaltenders Schmid ranks 1st and Daws ranks 5th. (Explanation on Game Score from Hockey Graphs)
  • Speaking of Game Score and AHL Tracker, this tweet earlier in the week showed what an impressive season Fabian Zetterlund is having:
  • Congrats to Head Coach Kevin Dineen for his 400th professional win in his coaching career following Saturday’s victory!

Coming Up: Utica is scheduled for a busy week with 4 games. They will take on Providence tonight, Charlotte on Friday, Rochester on Saturday, and Cleveland on Sunday.

ECHL

It was a tough weekend for Adirondack as they lost 5-2 to Reading on Friday, 3-2 to Worcester on Saturday, and 7-3 to Worcester on Sunday. Mareks Mitens didn’t have a good time in goal as he made 27 saves on 32 shots in Friday’s loss and 29 saves on 36 shots in Sunday’s loss. The Thunder are currently in 5th place in the North Division with 28 points in 30 games.

Adirondack is scheduled to host Trois-Rivieres on Thursday, Reading on Friday, and Trois-Rivieres on Saturday.

Your Take

Which players stood out to you last week? Are you excited to see Gritsyuk competing in the Olympics? How do you feel about the prospects on the Utica Comets? Leave your comments below and thank you for reading!