Bardakov suffered an injury in preseason and has had difficulties finding his game thus far. His frustrations have boiled over and may have hit a low point this weekend. For anyone wondering how Bardakov managed to get 48 penalties minutes this season, most of them occured on this play.
Hopefully, this is a wake-up call for Bardakov, who despite the early season struggles is still an enticing prospect with a strong, intense, gritastic (yes, I made that term up, but it fits), two-way game. Here are some of his advanced stat comparisons for last season.
I didn't realize just how solid of a season #NJDevils prospect Zakhar Bardakov had this year with SKA St. Petersburg. Might be a nice 7th-round find for the Devils https://t.co/XSlGSU6Gb3 pic.twitter.com/mmOYrG9acG— Kyle Cushman (@Kyle_Cush) July 9, 2023
Impressive. Hopefully, Bardakov turns things around soon.
Arseni Gritsyuk is back to scoring goals and is on a pace for 26, ten more than his career high two seasons ago with Avangard Omsk. Check out this laser on the power play against his old team.
On defense, Artyom Barabosha and Daniil Karpovich are both still looking for their first goals of the season, while Danill Orlov continues to bounce around the KHL, MHL and VHL. As evidenced by the wide disparity in Orlov’s PNHL in the VHL compared to the KHL, Orlov’s usage in the KHL has dinted his totals. This was to be expected and Orlov is still very much a prospect to keep an eye on, Check out Orlov’s first KHL goal to see a glimpse of what he’s capable of when the shackles are off.
Rest of Europe
Finnish winger Lenni Hameenaho has cooled off a little bit since his blazing hot start, but is still tied for 5th in the Liiga in goals with 9 and only 3 away from the league lead. Perhaps, most impressively is that 8 of Hameenaho’s 9 goals have come at even strength. Even with the slight cooldown, this has all the makings of a big breakout season for last year’s 2nd round pick, who has already tied his goal total of last season.
Also in the Liiga, Jakub Malek is still in a goaltending tandem with Jonas Gunnarsson, neither having won the clear starting role. Gunnarsson, a longtime SHL veteran, has the better numbers with a 2.17 GAA and a .913 SV%, but Malek has had the better puck luck, winning a much higher percentage of his games. (7-2-1 vs. 4-3-0). It will be interesting to see how this battle plays out, but most importantly for his development, Malek is getting his starts.
In Czechia, Jaromir Pytlik’s five points in fifteen games actually ties a career high for him in the top Czech league and is two more points than the center tallied last season with Kladano in 33 games. So, there’s that.
RW Petr Hauser has also struggled with only 4 points (all assists) in 14 games for the top Czech league and has been on loan for a couple games in the 2nd tier Czechia 2. Barring a sudden flash of development, it may be almost too late already for Jaromir Pytlik, whose rights expire in June of next year. Although Hauser’s rights do not expire until the summer of 2026, he will need to show something more if he’s to earn a contract with the Devils.
Around the Pool
- After a strong start that saw RW Chase Stillman put up 5 points in his first 7 games, his Dobber PNHLe projection has now crept up to 40, which is the threshold for the potential of a 2nd line forward. It’s a small sample size, but it is encouraging as Stillman has not finished season over 40 on Dobber’s model since he had a PNHLe of 44 in 2019-2020.
- Tyler Brennan made his professional debut for the Adirondack Thunder stopping 24 of 27 in a 5-2 loss against Worcester on Saturday, October 21st. The Worcester Railers added two empty netters late in the 3rd period to make the game appear more lopsided than it was.
- Josh Filmon is back in the lineup for Swift Current after a minor injury. Despite the few missing games, the young winger leads (as of publishing) all Devils prospects in points across all leagues. [EliteProspects.Com]
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