Welcome to the 27th week of the 2021-22 New Jersey Devils prospect update! This past week saw Chase Stillman finish the regular season in fine form for the Peterborough Petes. They now are set to start their run in the OHL Playoffs on Thursday. It also saw Zakhar Bardakov’s season come to an end as SKA St. Petersburg was eliminated from the KHL Playoffs. Jakub Malek also saw his team fall in the Czech 2nd Division Finals. Let’s check in on each prospect now.
Chase Stillman had an assist, +1, 5 PIM, and 2 shots in Peterborough’s regular season finale against Kingston on Sunday. The fighting major was his 3rd one of the season and 8th of his OHL career. Peterborough finished as the #8 seed in the Eastern Conference and will take on #1 Hamilton in the Conference Quarterfinals. The series will begin on Thursday. Stillman finished the regular season strong with a goal and 3 assists over his final 3 games. Check out Stillman’s latest assist below:
Luke Hughes was ranked 10th on Craig Button’s Top Prospects List for TSN. Also, congrats to Luke Hughes for being named National Rookie of the Month:
KHL & VHL
Yegor Zaitsev Playoff Stats: 11 GP 0-2-2, -4, 8 PIM, 0.0 SH%, 1.2 SH/GP, 17:57 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 Playoff Stats: 13 GP 6-4-10, -5, 4 PIM, 12.2 SH%, 3.8 SH/GP, 17:12 ATOI
Shakir Mukhamadullin was ranked 47th on Craig Button’s Top Prospects List.
Shakir Mukhamadullin Playoff Stats: 11 GP 0-0-0, -3, 4 PIM, 0.0 SH%, 1.4 SH/GP, 15:23 ATOI
#1 SKA lost 4-3 to #3 CSKA in the Western Conference Finals. Zakhar Bardakov was a -1, won 10/19 faceoffs, and played 17:55 in SKA’s Game 6 loss. He was a -2 with 4 PIM, won 8/12 faceoffs, and played 15:44 in SKA’s Game 7 loss. The 21 year old Bardakov is out of contract with SKA on April 30 but this report from Russia suggests that he will be extending his deal to stay with the team. I would’ve been interested in seeing him come over to play in the AHL next season but as of now it looks like that won’t be happening.
Playoff Stats: 16 GP 0-2-2, -10, 12 PIM, 0.0 SH%, 0.9 SH/GP, 46.2 FO%, 12:51 ATOI
Liiga, Mestis, & U20-SM-sarja
#3 Ilves lost 4-2 to #4 TPS in the Liiga Semifinals. Eetu Pakkila had 2 assists, +2, 9 shots, and averaged 13:24 across the final 4 games of the series.
Playoff Stats: 7 GP 0-2-2, +2, 0 PIM, 0.0 SH%, 1.57 SH/GP, 14:08 ATOI
Topias Vilen Playoff Stats: 3 GP 0-0-0, -1, 2 PIM, 0.0 SH%, 1.66 SH/GP, 13:51 ATOI
Samu Salminen Playoff Stats: 2 GP 0-0-0, -3, 0 PIM, 0.0 SH%, 1.5 SH/GP, 50.0 FO% 20:59 ATOI
SHL, Allsvenskan, & J20 Nationell
Nikola Pasic Playout Stats: 6 GP 0-4-4, E, 2 PIM, 0.00 SH%, 0.83 SH/GP, 14:53 ATOI
Viktor Hurtig Playoff Stats: 5 GP 0-2-2, -2, 0 PIM
The Rest of Europe
Swiss National League, Czech Extraliga, & Czech 1.liga
Benjamin Baumgartner Playoff Stats: 7 GP 0-0-0, -1, 0 PIM, 0.00 SH%, 0.14 SH/GP, 7:36 ATOI
Rytiri Kladno is playing the playoff champion from the Czech 1. Liga (2nd division) to see who will play in the Czech Extraliga (1st division) next season. The team they are taking on is HC Dukla Jihlava who beat Jakub Malek’s VHK Vsetin. So far Kladno leads the best of 7 series 2-0. Jaromir Pytlik was a +1 with 4 shots and averaged 16:41 across both of those games.
As I mentioned above, #2 Vsetin lost the Championship to #4 Jihlava 4-2. Jakub Malek made 39 saves on 40 shots in the 1-0 loss in Game 6 last Tuesday.
Playoff Stats: 13 GP 7-4, 1.75 GAA, .933 SV%, 2 SO
The Utica Comets split their games last week, defeating Syracuse on Friday but losing to Belleville on Saturday. They continue to lead the Eastern Conference with a 40-19-7-1 record and 88 points. Their 22.0 PP% ranks 5th in the league and their 82.0 PK% ranks 10th.
Friday 4/15: The Utica Comets defeated the Syracuse Crunch 5-1. The goal scorers for the Comets included Nikita Okhotiuk, Reilly Walsh, Tyler Wotherspoon (SH), Brian Flynn (EN), and Brian Halonen. Wotherspoon and Alexander Holtz led the way as each had 2 assists. Michael Vukojevic, Ryan Schmelzer, and Jeremy Groleau each had an assist. Walsh led the Comets with 6 shots. Akira Schmid made 25 saves on 26 shots to pick up the victory. He earned a leaving the crease penalty towards the end of the 2nd period after briefly engaging with a Crunch player that was trying to start an altercation behind the play. Nolan Foote did well to step in and handle the situation for Schmid. Utica outshot Syracuse 29-26 and went 0/7 on the PP and 4/4 on the PK. Here is the gamesheet, highlights, and lineup:
Last meeting with 'Cuse, here's how we line up ⬇️ pic.twitter.com/OjARb52rKm— x-Utica Comets (@UticaComets) April 15, 2022
Saturday 4/16: The Utica Comets lost 4-1 to the Belleville Senators. Nolan Foote opened the scoring in the first period with the Comets only goal of the game. Robbie Russo and Brian Flynn had the assists on that goal. Alexander Holtz, Tyler Wotherspoon, and Foote led the Comets with 3 shots each. Nikita Okhotiuk had his second fighting major in as many games. Mareks Mitens made 18 saves on 21 shots in the loss. Utica outshot Belleville 26-22 and went 0/3 on the PP and 3/3 on the PK. Here is the gamesheet, highlights, and lineup:
- Alexander Holtz had 2 more assists last week, both coming in the victory over Syracuse on Friday. He remains a point per game player with 24 goals and 25 assists in 49 games. As of right now, only Jack Quinn (56 points in 40 games) and Lukas Reichel (49 points in 49 games) are the other U21 players to average a point per game or better while appearing in at least 30 games this season. In the 10 seasons prior to this one, only 8 U21 players averaged a point per game or better while playing in at least 40 games. It will be interesting to see if Holtz can finish at or above that mark.
- Holtz was ranked 15th on Craig Button’s Top Prospects List.
- Graeme Clarke now has no points over his last 8 games. In 27 games since returning from injury he has 5 goals and an assist. He has a 9.80 SH% and is averaging 1.88 SH/GP during this stretch.
- Since returning from an injury that saw him miss 10 games from mid-March to the beginning of April, Nolan Foote has 3 goals and an assist in 5 games.
- With 31 assists on the season, Reilly Walsh is now tied-8th on the leaderboard for defensemen. He ranks 3rd in U23 defensemen scoring with 39 points in 66 games. His 0.59 points per game rate ranks 10th among those defensemen with at least 30 games played.
- Akira Schmid currently ranks 4th among rookie goaltenders with a .915 SV%. His 0.36 Goals Saved Above Average per 60 minutes and his 0.37 per 30 shots ranks 13th out of the 38 goaltenders that have played in at least 25 games.
- Last Tuesday, the Utica Comets signed forward Garrett Van Wyhe from the University of Michigan. The contract is for the rest of this season and next season as well. Van Wyhe is a 6’2”, 201 lbs. left handed shooting forward that will turn 25 years old on April 30. He just completed a 4 year career at Michigan where he had 16 goals and 21 assists in 135 games.
Coming Up: Utica will take on Cleveland tonight and tomorrow and then Rochester on Friday.
The Adirondack Thunder concluded their 2021-22 season with 4 games last week. They lost 3-2 to Trois-Rivieres on Tuesday, lost 5-4 in overtime to Reading on Friday, lost 1-0 to Reading on Saturday, and lost 5-0 to Newfoundland on Sunday. They finished with a 27-40-4-0 record and 58 points. Unfortunately, that meant they were the last placed team in the 27 team league.
Which prospects stood out to you this past week? How do you feel about the seasons that Zakhar Bardakov, Eetu Pakkila, and Jakub Malek had? What are your expectations for these prospects going forward? Leave your comments below and thank you for reading!