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New Jersey Devils Prospect Update: 3/15/22

This week’s update features the NCAA season coming to an end for a trio of Devils prospects, Jakub Malek suffering an injury in the Czech 2nd division playoffs, and Alexander Holtz continue to stand out for Utica.

New Jersey Devils Prospect Headshots
Eetu Pakkila has 3 assists over his last 2 games in Liiga.
Photo by Andy Marlin/NHLI via Getty Images

Welcome to the 22nd week of the 2021-22 New Jersey Devils prospect update! This week features Chase Stillman earning a suspension, the NCAA seasons coming to an end for Patrick Moynihan, Case McCarthy, and Cole Brady, Eetu Pakkila producing well in Liiga, Jakub Malek playing well before being injured in the playoffs in the Czech 2nd division, and Alexander Holtz continuing to produce in the AHL. Let’s take a look at each prospect now.

OHL

Chase Stillman picked up a checking from behind penalty and game misconduct just 49 seconds into Peterborough’s first game of the week. He has been suspended indefinitely and already missed 2 of Peterborough’s games. Here’s the hit that earned him a suspension:

NCAA

Patrick Moynihan had an even rating, 2 PIM, and a shot as 7th seeded Providence defeated 10th seeded Vermont 2-1 in the Opening Round of the Hockey East Tournament last Wednesday. He was a +1 with 4 shots in Providence’s Quarterfinals loss to 2nd seeded UMass last Saturday. That loss ended their 2021-22 season.

Moynihan’s junior season finishes with him setting career highs in games (38), assists (14), and points (25). However, he posted the lowest goals per game rate of his career (0.29) and his points per game rate fell from 0.88 as a sophomore to 0.66 as a junior. This season saw him struggle early on with just 3 points over his first 12 games, then get hot and produce 22 points in 21 games, before finishing with 0 points over his last 5 games.

The Devils hold his rights until August 15, 2023 so it’s possible he returns to school to complete his senior season in 2022-23. I wouldn’t be surprised if the Devils did sign him with the intention of having him spend next season in the AHL to acclimate to the pro game. He projects as a bottom 6 role player that plays hard, is responsible defensively, and has a great work ethic. Despite not producing at a prolific rate in college, I can see the Devils being interested in what Moynihan brings to the ice.

Case McCarthy had an even rating and 4 shots as 5th seeded Boston University fell 3-1 to 4th seeded UConn in the Hockey East Tournament Quarterfinals last Saturday. This loss ended their 2021-22 season. McCarthy finishes his junior season with a career high in goals (5) and points (14). He spent this season mostly on the right side of the top pair for BU and posted a career high in goals per game (0.19), assists per game (0.35), and points per game (0.54). Similar to Moynihan, the Devils hold his rights until August 15, 2023 so he could return to school for his senior season in 2022-23. The Devils could try to sign him though with the intention of having him turn pro at the AHL level next season.

Artem Shlaine had an even rating, 4 shots, and won 6/18 faceoffs in that UConn win over Boston University last Saturday. 4th seeded UConn will take on 1st seeded Northeastern in the Hockey East Tournament Semifinals on Friday. The Championship game will be held on Saturday.

Cole Brady didn’t play in either of Arizona State’s victories over Long Island last weekend as they concluded their season. The last game he played ended up being on January 7. He didn’t feature in Arizona State’s final 12 games of the season. Brady played just 12 games with a 5-6 record, 3.89 GAA, .900 SV%, and 45.45 Quality Start%. Thus, it comes as no surprise that he has reportedly entered the transfer portal in seek of a much needed fresh start:

It will be interesting to see where he ends up next season. Wherever it is, hopefully he gets a chance to play regularly and get his career back on track. He’s faced a lot of adversity with ASU from battling illness and an all-road schedule in 2020-21 as a freshman to playing behind a struggling defense as a sophomore in 2021-22.

Ethan Edwards was a +1 with 2 shots as 2nd seeded Michigan defeated 3rd seeded Notre Dame 2-1 in the Big Ten Tournament Semifinals last Saturday. They will now take on 1st seeded Minnesota for the Big Ten Championship this Saturday. Here’s what the MGoBlog had to say about Edwards’ game:

While all of Michigan’s defensemen played very well and stayed very fundamentally sound, Ethan Edwards popped a little bit again, getting forward and creating a couple of dangerous chances. He had one strong take, then got back to stick-lift a guy at the blue line and throw the puck back deep into the zone. He looked very positionally sound in his own end and dealt with Notre Dame’s physicality very well.

Luke Hughes had an even rating and 2 shots in that win for Michigan.

Russia

KHL & VHL

Yegor Zaitsev had an assist, even rating, 2 PIM, 7 shots, and averaged 18:55 across 4 games last week. #4 Dynamo Moscow won their Western Conference Quarterfinals series 4-3 over #5 Severstal. They will now take on #3 CSKA Moscow in the Western Conference Semifinals.

Playoff Stats: 7 GP 0-2-2, E, 2 PIM, 0.0 SH%, 1.9 SH/GP, 18:19 ATOI

Daniil Misyul Playoff Stats: 3 GP 0-0-0, -3, 2 PIM, 0.0 SH%, 0.0 SH/GP, 13:36 ATOI

Arseni Gritsyuk had 2 PP assists, -2, 2 PIM, 11 shots, and averaged 19:38 across 3 games last week. #5 Avangard won their Eastern Conference Quarterfinals series 4-2 over #4 Ak Bars. They will now take on #1 Metallurg Mg in the Eastern Conference Semifinals.

Playoff Stats: 6 GP 1-3-4, -1, 4 PIM, 4.5 SH%, 3.7 SH/GP, 18:39 ATOI

Shakir Mukhamadullin was a +2 with 3 shots and average ice time of 13:39 across 2 games last week. #3 Salavat Yulaev won their Eastern Conference Quarterfinals series 4-1 over #6 Sibir. They will now take on #2 Traktor in the Eastern Conference Semifinals.

Playoff Stats: 5 GP 0-0-0, +2, 4 PIM, 0.0 SH%, 2.0 SH/GP, 14:46 ATOI

Zakhar Bardakov was a -1 with a shot in 8:46 as #1 SKA clinched their Western Conference Quarterfinals sweep over #8 Dinamo Minsk last Tuesday. They will now take on #7 Spartak in the Western Conference Semifinals.

Playoff Stats: 4 GP 0-0-0, E, 2 PIM, 0.0 SH%, 0.5 SH/GP, 9:07 ATOI

Finland

Liiga, Mestis, & U20-SM-sarja

Eetu Pakkila had 3 assists, +3, 5 shots, and averaged 12:06 across 3 games last week.

Topias Vilen had an even rating, 8 shots, and averaged 15:54 across 3 games last week.

Samu Salminen had a goal, -1, 4 PIM, 7 shots, won 27/46 faceoffs (58.70%), and averaged 17:17 across 3 games last week.

Sweden

SHL, Allsvenskan, & J20 Nationell

Nikola Pasic had 2 assists (1 EV, 1 PP), -1, 7 shots, and averaged 18:46 across 3 games last week.

Viktor Hurtig had an even rating and played on the 2nd pairing in his only game last week.

The Rest of Europe

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

Quality Start Percentage (QS%); Really Bad Start Percentage (RBS%); Bail Out Percentage (BO%); Goals Allowed Percentage Minus (GA%-); Goals Saved Above Average (GSAA); Goals Saved Above Average per 60 Minutes (GSAA/60); Goals Saved Above Average per 30 Shots (GSAA/30)

Benjamin Baumgartner had 2 goals, +2, 2 PIM, 2 shots, won 3/8 faceoffs (37.5%), and averaged 8:14 across 3 games last week. Lausanne HC finished 7th in the National League and will take on 10th place HC Ambri-Piotta in a best of 3 pre-playoff series this week.

Jaromir Pytlik was a -2 with a shot in 16:19 in Kladno’s final regular season game last Tuesday. They will now have to play a relegation playoff in mid-April.

VHK Vsetin finished 2nd in the Chance Liga and advanced directly to the Quarterfinals. They are now taking on #7 HC Slavia Praha in a best of 5 series. Jakub Malek made 24 saves on 26 shots in VHK Vsetin’s 2-1 loss in Game 1. He followed that up with a 17 save shutout victory for VHK Vsetin in Game 2. He made 13 saves on 14 shots in 24:16 in Game 3 yesterday before leaving due to injury after this collision. Unfortunately, his back up came in and allowed 4 goals to give HC Slavia Praha a 2-1 series lead.

Playoff Stats: 3 GP 1-1, 1.26 GAA, .947 SV%, 1 SO

AHL

Quality Start Percentage (QS%); Really Bad Start Percentage (RBS%); Bail Out Percentage (BO%); Goals Allowed Percentage Minus (GA%-); Goals Saved Above Average (GSAA); Goals Saved Above Average per 60 Minutes (GSAA/60); Goals Saved Above Average per 30 Shots (GSAA/30); Workload (WL) - Shots Per 60 Minutes

The Utica Comets went 1-2 last week, with all 3 games being decided by a goal. They remain the top team in the Eastern Conference with a 34-12-6-0 record with 20 games remaining. Their 21.2 PP% ranks 9th and their 80.8 PK% ranks 16th.

Wednesday 3/9: The Utica Comets lost to the Syracuse Crunch 3-2 in overtime. Ryan Schmezler had the first goal for the Comets with Alexander Holtz and Tyler Wotherspoon earning the assists. Holtz had the other goal for Utica with Schmezler and Wotherspoon picking up the assists. Syracuse ended up tying the game late in the 3rd period and winning it with one second remaining in overtime on a Darren Raddysh goal. Fabian Zetterlund led the Comets with 4 shots. Akira Schmid made 20 saves on 23 shots in the loss. Both teams put up 23 shots each and neither team converted on their PP opportunities (5 for Utica, 4 for Syracuse). Here is the gamesheet, highlights, and lineup:

17 Greer - 33 Gauthier - 92 Clarke

7 De Leo - 26 Schmelzer - 9 Holtz

25 Foote - 10 Flynn - 20 Zetterlund

15 Gambardella - 16 Schnarr - 39 Laberge

82 Okhotiuk - 5 Russo

23 Wotherspoon - 22 Walsh

38 Groleau - 88 Bahl

93 Schmid

34 Mitens

Scratches: Vukojevic, McGrath, Talvitie (Upper Body Injury)

Friday 3/11: The Utica Comets defeated the Toronto Marlies 3-2. A.J. Greer, Nolan Foote, and Frederik Gauthier (SH) had the goals for Utica. Robbie Russo had 2 assists followed by Greer, Fabian Zetterlund, Gauthier, and Nikita Okhotiuk with one each. Gauthier led the Comets with 4 shots. Akira Schmid made 23 saves on 25 shots to pick up the win. Greer also had a fight to complete the Gordie Howe hat trick. Utica outshot Toronto 29-25 and went 0/3 on the PP and 1/1 on the PK. Here is the gamesheet, highlights, and lineup:

Saturday 3/12: The Utica Comets lost to the Rochester Americans 3-2. Aarne Talvitie and Ryan Schmezler had the goals for Utica. Joe Gambardella, Tyler Wotherspoon, A.J. Greer, and Alexander Holtz each had an assist. Fabian Zetterlund led the Comets with 4 shots. Akira Schmid made 16 saves on 19 shots in the loss. Utica outshot Rochester 35-19 and went 0/4 on the PP and 2/2 on the PK. Here is the gamesheet, highlights, and lineup:

Note:

Coming Up: Utica will take on Belleville tonight, Wilkes-Barre/Scranton on Saturday, and Cleveland on Monday.

ECHL

Quality Start Percentage (QS%); Really Bad Start Percentage (RBS%); Bail Out Percentage (BO%); Goals Allowed Percentage Minus (GA%-); Goals Saved Above Average (GSAA); Goals Saved Above Average per 60 Minutes (GSAA/60); Goals Saved Above Average per 30 Shots (GSAA/30); Workload (WL) - Shots Per 60 Minutes

Adirondack had a strong week, winning 3 out of their 4 games. They defeated Reading 4-3 in a shootout on Wednesday, fell 5-4 to Worcester on Friday, defeated Maine 2-1 on Saturday, and defeated Maine 5-2 on Sunday. They remain last in the North Division with a 23-29-2-0 record.

Adirondack has another busy week coming up with a game against Maine on Wednesday and then a 3 game weekend series against Reading.

Your Take

Which players stood out to you last week? Do you think the Devils should look to sign Moynihan and/or McCarthy for next season? Or would you rather see these players return to school for their senior seasons? What do you think of Brady entering the transfer portal? Leave your comments below and thank you for reading!