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New Jersey Devils Prospect Update: 4/26/22

This past week saw Chase Stillman play in the OHL playoffs, the seasons end for Eetu Pakkila and Jaromir Pytlik, and the Utica Comets gear up for the upcoming playoffs.

AHL: JAN 30 Utica Comets at Cleveland Monsters
Reilly Walsh has been one of the more productive offensive defensemen in the AHL this season.
Photo by Frank Jansky/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images

Welcome to the 28th week of the 2021-22 New Jersey Devils prospect update! This past week saw Chase Stillman and the Peterborough Petes open up their OHL Playoff campaign. It also saw the seasons come to an end for Eetu Pakkila and Jaromir Pytlik in Finland and Czechia respectively. The Utica Comets also got Nico Daws back as they prepare for their playoff run. Let’s check in on each prospect now!

OHL

#8 Peterborough trails #1 Hamilton 2-0 in their Eastern Conference Quarterfinal series. Chase Stillman had no points over the first 2 games and was a -1 with 2 PIM and a shot.

Playoff Stats: 2 GP 0-0-0, -1, 2 PIM, 0.00 SH%, 0.50 SH/GP

NCAA

Congrats to Case McCarthy on being named an assistant captain for Boston University for the 2022-23 season!

Russia

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 Playoff Stats: 11 GP 0-0-0, -3, 4 PIM, 0.0 SH%, 1.4 SH/GP, 15:23 ATOI

Zakhar Bardakov Playoff Stats: 16 GP 0-2-2, -10, 12 PIM, 0.0 SH%, 0.9 SH/GP, 46.2 FO%, 12:51 ATOI

Finland

Liiga, Mestis, & U20-SM-sarja

Eetu Pakkila had an assist, +1, and 2 shots in 11:39 as he helped Ilves win the 3rd place game in the Liiga playoffs 3-2 over KooKoo last Sunday. He’s under contract with Ilves through the 2023-24 season but the Devils only hold his rights until June 1, 2022. He’s coming off of his 3rd full season in Liiga where he set a career high in games played (51), goals (7), and points (19). We’ll find out soon if he has done enough to warrant a contract from the Devils.

Playoff Stats: 8 GP 0-3-3, +3, 0 PIM, 0.0 SH%, 1.63 SH/GP, 13:49 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

Sweden

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

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 Playoff Stats: 7 GP 0-0-0, -1, 0 PIM, 0.00 SH%, 0.14 SH/GP, 7:36 ATOI

Kladno ended up winning their relegation series 4-1 oer Jihlava to stay in the top division next season. Jaromir Pytlik had an assist, +1, 2 PIM, and averaged 14:39 across the final 3 games of the series. Pytlik was only signed through the end of this season with Kladno after he bounced around the top 2 divisions in Finland earlier in the season. He’s another prospect the Devils have to decide on whether or not to sign as they hold his rights until June 1, 2022.

Relegation Stats: 5 GP 0-1-1, +2, 2 PIM, 0.0 SH%, 2.00 SH/GP, 15:29 ATOI

Jakub Malek Playoff Stats: 13 GP 7-4, 1.75 GAA, .933 SV%, 2 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 2-0-1 last week and clinched the North Division title. Their 21.6 PP% ranks 5th in the league and their 81.8 PK% ranks 10th.

Tuesday 4/19: The Utica Comets lost 4-3 in overtime to the Cleveland Monsters. Chase De Leo opened the scoring early with Tyler Wotherspoon assisting on the goal. Brian Flynn scored late in the 1st period with Nolan Foote earning the assist. Cleveland would score once in the 2nd period and twice in the 3rd period to take a 3-2 lead. Ryan Schmelzer equalized with a minute left in regulation with Graeme Clarke and De Leo picking up the assists. Unfortunately, Cleveland would score a minute and a half into overtime to secure the victory. De Leo, Schmezler, and Alexander Holtz each had 4 shots. The 3rd period featured a few fighting majors when Samuel Laberge took on Billy Sweezey and Robbie Russo took on Justin Scott. Akira Schmid made 24 saves on 28 shots. Utica was outshot 28-25 and went 0/3 on the PP and 1/2 on the PK. Here is the gamesheet, highlights, and lineup:

Wednesday 4/20: The Utica Comets defeated the Cleveland Monsters 4-3. Aarne Talvitie, Jarrod Gourley, Chase De Leo, and Alexander Holtz had the goals for Utica. Talvitie and Graeme Clarke each had 2 assists. Michael Vukojevic, Joe Gambardella, Patrick Grasso, and Reilly Walsh each had an assist. De Leo led the Comets with 5 shots followed by Holtz and Gourley with 4 each. A.J. Greer picked up a fighting major when he took on Brett Gallant in the 2nd period. Akira Schmid made 28 saves on 31 shots to pick up the victory. Utica outshot Cleveland 32-31 and went 0/3 on the PP and 3/4 on the PK. Here is the gamesheet, lineup, and highlights:

Friday 4/22: The Utica Comets defeated the Rochester Americans 3-2 in overtime. Ryan Schmelzer got the Comets on the board with a shorthanded goal in the 2nd period. Tyler Irvine and Robbie Russo had the assists on that goal. Alexander Holtz had the 2nd goal, scoring on the PP, with Reilly Walsh and A.J. Greer earning the assists. Walsh scored the game winning goal in overtime with Joe Gambardella and Brian Flynn picking up the assists. Chase De Leo led the team with 6 shots followed by Holtz with 5. Nico Daws made 26 saves on 28 shots to earn the win in his return to the Comets. Utica outshot Rochester 35-28 and went 1/3 on the PP and 3/3 on the PK. Here is the gamesheet, highlights, and lineup:

Notes:

  • With 2 more goals last week, Alexander Holtz now has 26 in 52 games. That ranks 2nd among U21 skaters, just 1 behind Jakob Pelletier who has 27 goals in 64 games.
  • Graeme Clarke snapped an 8 game point drought when he had an assist in last Tuesday’s game and then followed it up with 2 assists in last Wednesday’s game.
  • Congrats to Nikita Okhotiuk on his first NHL callup which has already included his first goal and an assist. Also, congrats to Nolan Foote for earning another callup to New Jersey!
  • Reilly Walsh had a productive week with a goal and 2 assists (1 EV, 1 PP) across 3 games. He has 2 goals and 4 assists over his last 8 games. He is now tied-5th for defensemen scoring with 42 points.
  • Nico Daws made his first appearance for Utica since February 18 when he defeated Rochester last Friday. Among the 66 goaltenders that have played in at least 15 games, Daws’ 0.44 Goals Saved Above Average per 60 minutes ranks 14th and his 0.45 Goals Saved Above Average per 30 shots ranks 12th.

Coming Up: Utica will conclude their regular season when they take on Rochester on Friday and Providence on Saturday.

Your Take

Which prospects stood out to you this past week? What are your expectations for Utica’s playoff run? Do you think the Devils should sign Eetu Pakkila and/or Jaromir Pytlik? Leave your comments below and thank you for reading!