Welcome to the 18th week of the 2021-22 New Jersey Devils prospect update! This week saw Luke Hughes put up 3 goals and 3 assists in 2 games for Michigan, Alexander Holtz score 3 goals and add an assist in 3 games for Utica, and Arseni Gritsyuk score in the Olympics for Russia.
Chase Stillman had a PP goal, 2 assists (1 EV, 1 PP), -1, 2 PIM, and 9 shots across 3 games last week. Check out one of his assist and his latest goal below:
Patrick Moynihan had a goal, -1, 2 PIM, and 4 shots in Providence’s 4-1 loss to Boston University last Thursday. Check out his latest goal below:
Case McCarthy had an even rating and 2 shots for Boston University in that victory over Providence. Last night, he had an even rating and 5 shots in Boston University’s 1-0 victory over Northeastern to win the Beanpot.
Artem Shlaine had a goal, assist, +2, 3 shots, and won 17/32 faceoffs (53.13%) across 2 games last week. It feels like he is one of the streakiest prospects that I have covered in recent years. This year he started out with 4 points over his first 13 games, then he had 5 points over his next 3 games, then he had no points over his next 7 games, but now is currently on a 4 game streak with 6 points during that stretch. Here’s his latest goal:
Cole Brady and Arizona State had last week off. They will resume their season at Alaska for games on February 25 and 26. After that they will conclude their season when they take on Long Island on March 11 and 12.
Ethan Edwards had 2 assists, +3, and 3 shots as Michigan defeated Michigan State twice last weekend. With Owen Power at the Olympics, Edwards has been playing on the top pair with team captain Nick Blankenburg. Michigan is 9-1 in 2022 with their only loss occurring to Minnesota in overtime.
Luke Hughes had another monster weekend for Michigan. In Friday’s 6-2 win, Hughes had 2 PP goals, a PP assist, +3, and 4 shots. In Saturday’s 7-3 win, Hughes had a goal, 2 assists (1 PP, 1 SH), +2, and 6 shots. His 13 goals leads all defensemen in the NCAA. Here’s what Michigan head coach Mel Pearson had to say about his development to Ryan Zuke of Michigan Live:
“Tremendously,” Pearson said of his growth. “We saw that last year with Kent Johnson, Matty Beniers, Owen Power — they had tremendous growth last year (as freshmen), and you see it in Luke. He’s become more reliable, not made as many mistakes, playing more physical. And then he hasn’t lost anything offensively.”
Here is a highlights package of Hughes as well as one of his latest goals and assist:
Luke Hughes now has 12 goals, moves into second place at Michigan for freshman defensemen in goal scoring pic.twitter.com/5QaNABLTqM— Michigan Hockey (@umichhockey) February 12, 2022
KHL & VHL
The KHL is still in their Olympic break so there were no games for Yegor Zaitsev, Daniil Misyul, Shakir Mukhamadullin, and Zakhar Bardakov.
Arseni Gritsyuk has played in all 3 of Russia’s Olympic games so far, posting a goal, +3, and average ice time of 11:34. His goal came in a 6-5 overtime loss to Czechia last Saturday. Despite that loss, Russia won their group and advanced directly to the Quarterfinals which will be played tomorrow. Here’s his goal:
Liiga, Mestis, & U20-SM-sarja
Eetu Pakkila had a -1 with 4 shots and averaged 14:50 across 2 games last week. He has no points over his last 7 games.
Topias Vilen had 2 assists, +1, 3 shots, and averaged 10:32 across 3 games last week. Both of his assists came in last Friday’s game against Tappara and snapped a 16 game point drought.
Samu Salminen had a goal, assist, +2, 2 PIM, 5 shots, and won 16/23 faceoffs (69.57%) in Jokerit U20’s only game last week.
SHL, Allsvenskan, & J20 Nationell
Nikola Pasic was a -1 with a shot across 3 games last week as he continues to struggle to find consistency this season.
Viktor Hurtig and Mora IK J20 had last week off.
The Rest of Europe
Swiss National League, Czech Extraliga, & Czech 1.liga
Benjamin Baumgartner and Lausanne HC had the week off due to the Olympic break.
Jaromir Pytlik had a goal, assist, +3, 2 PIM, 5 shots, and averaged 14:54 across 3 games last week.
Jakub Malek had a rare difficult week for VHK Vsetin. Last Wednesday, Malek made 17 saves on 21 shots in a loss. Last Saturday, he made 14 saves on 17 shots in 40 minutes to pick up another loss.
Utica had a tough week based on their standards, winning just one of their three games. To be fair, both of the losses came in one goal games. They are tied with Chicago with 61 points to lead the AHL, however Chicago has played two more games than Utica. They are tied with Stockton with a .744 winning percentage but have played two more games than Stockton. Their 23.6 PP% ranks 3rd in the league and their 80.7 PK% ranks 18th.
Wednesday 2/9: The Utica Comets lost to the Springfield Thunderbirds 3-2. Utica fell behind 2-0 early after goals by Will Bitten and Hugh McGing. The first goal against came after Utica had trouble clearing the zone which eventually led to a puck being fired towards the net and deflecting off of Bitten and past Akira Schmid. The second goal against came on the PP for Springfield as they were able to utilize some good puck movement to put Utica off balance. A few minutes after that, Fabian Zetterlund was able to get Utica on the board with a PP goal as Nolan Foote and Robbie Russo earned the assists. The 2nd period saw Alexander Holtz even the game late in the period with a nice goal from his off wing. Nate Schnarr earned the assist on that goal. The 3rd period saw Springfield get the game winning goal just a minute into the final frame when Frederik Gauthier was beat at the blue line which created space for Alexey Toropchenko to put Cleveland ahead for good. Zetterlund nearly played the role of hero for Utica when he prevented an empty net goal with a nice steal and then helped create a scoring chance the other way.
Holtz led the way with 7 shots. Schmid made 31 saves on 34 shots. Utica was outshot 34-27, in large part due to a 10-3 shot advantage for Springfield in the 1st period. Utica went 1/2 on the PP and 3/4 on the PK. Here is the gamesheet, highlights, and lineup:
17 Greer - 33 Gauthier - 9 Holtz
25 Foote - 10 Flynn - 15 Gambardella
20 Zetterlund - 77 Talvitie - 39 Laberge
18 Rivera - 16 Schnarr - 13 McGrath
82 Okhotiuk - 5 Russo
88 Bahl - 22 Walsh
2 Vukojevic - 38 Groleau
PP1: Holtz, Gauthier, Schnarr, Greer, Walsh
PP2: Foote, Gambardella, Zetterlund, Flynn, Russo
PK1: Greer, Gauthier, Okhotiuk, Russo
PK2: Foote, Zetterlund, Bahl, Groleau
Scratches: De Leo (inj.), Irvine, Schmelzer (inj.), Clarke (inj.), Masonius
Friday 2/11: The Utica Comets defeated the Cleveland Monsters 7-5, however this game nearly got away from them. Utica started the game well with 1st period goals from A.J. Greer (twice), Graeme Clarke, Nate Schnarr, and Alexander Holtz to jump out to a 5-0 lead. Cleveland would get on the board twice in the 2nd period while Jeremy Groleau had the lone Comets goal of that frame. The 3rd period would see Cleveland pull the game back to within a goal as they scored 3 straight goals. Nolan Foote eventually iced the game with an empty net goal.
The offensive leaders for Utica ended up being Greer (2 goals, an assist), Holtz (goal, assist), Schnarr (goal), Foote (goal), Groleau (goal), Clarke (goal), Fabian Zetterlund (2 assists), Reilly Walsh (2 assists), Frederik Gauthier (2 assists), and Aarne Talvitie (assist). Holtz and Michael Vukojevic led the team with 3 shots each. Akira Schmid made 39 saves on 44 shots to earn the victory. Utica ended up being outshot 44-24. They led in shots in the 1st period 12-11 but were then outshot 33-12 over the final 2 periods. Utica went 2/5 on the PP and 3/4 on the PK. Here is the gamesheet, highlights, and lineup:
Saturday 2/12: The Utica Comets lost to the Cleveland Monsters 2-1. Alexander Holtz had the lone Comets goal with A.J. Greer and Kevin Bahl earning the assists. Fabian Zetterlund led the way with 7 shots and was followed by Holtz and Greer with 4 each. Mareks Mitens made 18 saves on 20 shots. The Comets outshot the Monsters 29-20. Utica went 0/4 on the PP and 2/2 on the PK. Here is the gamesheet, highlights, and lineup:
Chase back ✅— Utica Comets (@UticaComets) February 12, 2022
Mitens in goal
Packed house pic.twitter.com/vJ5in0dIc8
Coming Up: Utica will take on Toronto tomorrow, Rochester on Friday, and Lehigh Valley on Saturday.
Adirondack lost all 3 of their games last week, falling 6-1 to Reading on Tuesday, and 4-2 to Worcester on both Saturday and Sunday. This week, they will take on Trois-Rivieres on Tuesday and Friday as well as Newfoundland on Saturday. Adirondack is currently in 6th place in the North Division and have 11 regular season games left. To make the playoffs, they would have to finish in the top 4 of their division based on points percentage, so they have some work to do.
Which players stood out to you last week? How impressed are you by the season Luke Hughes is having as an 18 year old defensemen in the NCAA? Have you been able to follow Arseni Gritsyuk in the Olympics? Do you want to see Alexander Holtz back with New Jersey? Leave your comments below and thank you for reading!