JOSH FILMON SIGNS
Nineteen year old winger Josh Filmon signed his three-year entry level deal with the Devils and has reported to Utica on an ATO (Amateur Tryout Agreement). [theNHL.com] The contract officially starts in the 2023-24 season, hence the need for the additional ATO for Filmon to play in the AHL for the rest of the year.
Filmon had a tremendous breakout season this year in the WHL with 47 goals and 75 points in 64 games for the Swift Current Broncos. The biggest knock on Filmon is his lanky frame, which also affects his skating. Reports vary, but Filmon seems to be around 6’3 and 165 points, a bump up from 159 last year. However, Filmon still has time to grow into his body and given that his family has a history of building muscle late, it looks like the Devils may have chosen a sixth round gem.
Filmon was pointless in his AHL debut on Saturday in a 4-2 Utica loss. Though an exciting prospect, one should not expect much out of Filmon right away. As Filmon himself points out in an interview with Peter Robinson of NHL.com regarding the AHL, “every guy there and (on the opposition) would (dominate) where I play right now.” [theNHL.com] This signing seems to have been done now to give Filmon a taste of the pro game to take back to the CHL next year. As Filmon will not turn 20 until March of next year, he will not be eligible to play in the AHL again next season until his season with Swift Current ends. It is highly unlikely that Filmon will be ready to make the jump all the way to the NHL next season, so Devils fans should expect to see Filmon tear up the WHL again in 2023-2024.
Graeme Clarke continues to steadily lead the Utica Comets in just about all offensive categories, but after a surge since last update that saw Nolan Foote’s seasonal pts/g rise from 0.53 to 0.64, Foote has been closing in on the goal-scoring lead. On Sunday’s shootout victory against Syracuse (after the above chart was compiled), both Foote (20) and Clarke (23) scored keeping the gap at three.
Foote looked impressive in his recent callup with the Devils and has to be considered a top contender for a bottom six role with the Devils next year. It’s been an impressive rise for Foote, who many Devils fans had written off due to his footspeed, but the power forward has quickened his step and learned to win board battles at the highest level, making him a leading candidate to replace Miles Wood in the lineup should Wood sign elsewhere next year.
Brian Halonen had a mini-surge of his own and is within striking distance of 20 goals on the season. Halonen will need a strong camp next year before he works his way into the conversation for a roster spot, but could be a depth call-up, if needed.
Alexander Holtz has continued playing well offensively in Utica as coach Kevin Dineen tries to get the young winger to perfect his defensive game. Holtz has 11 points in 14 games on the season. According to Peter Robinson, the good news is that Holtz seems to know that he has to work on those small defensive details to be effective in the next level. [NHL.com]
Reilly Walsh is now second on the Comets in scoring with 36 points, while playing third-pairing minutes and power play duties. It will be interesting to see what the Devils do with the 23 year-old defenseman, who will be a RFA at the end of the season.
Simon Nemec scored his 10th of the season for the Comets on Sunday after this chart was compiled upping his point total to 27 in 60 games. Those are good numbers for a D+1 defenseman in the AHL, especially one who is better known for his hockey sense and breakouts than pure offensive ability. Think of John Marino’s hockey sense and defensive game coupled with the offensive aspects of Damon Severson’s game and that’s a good estimate to the type of game one hopes Nemec can bring once he’s fully developed. It remains to be seen how close Nemec is to making his NHL debut, but it likely won’t happen until sometime next season.
Neither goalie played much since last update. Of the two, Schmid has been the better goalie this season, but Daws improved as of late ticking his Save Percentage closer to Schmid’s.
AROUND THE POOL
- Patrick Moynihan has transferred to Notre Dame for his graduate season. [Grand Forks Herald]
- The Frozen Four is set. Boston University (Defenseman Case McCarthy) will take on Minnesota and Michigan (Luke Hughes, Seamus Casey and Ethan Edwards) will take on Quinnipiac. The games begin April 6th. [The Hockey News]
- Utica will have to wait a little longer for Topias Vilen as he and the Pelicans advance to the Conference Finals to play Ilves (Jakub Malek). Vilen was ejected from Game 7 on this questionable call:
The play that saw #NJDevils D prospect Topias Vilén ejected from Pelicans GAME 7 against KalPa.— Daniel Rebain (@pvtmcbain) March 28, 2023
Absolutely terrible call to eject a player for this type of hit, let alone give a penalty on such a MASSIVE game. ♂️ https://t.co/APbBMTBQa2
- Chase Stillman and the Peterborough Petes are up 2-0 in their series against the Sudbury Wolves. [GoPetesGo]
- AK Bars defeated Avangard (Winger Arseni Gritsyuk) 3-2 in OT to open up the Conference Final series.
Let us know what you think of the Filmon signing, the Utica Comets season or any of the Devils prospects in the comments below.
Next week the prospect update will cover the end of the CHL season.