Stillman (and the Pete’s) Survive
After an overtime victory last night, Devil’s former first round pick Chase Stillman and his Peterborough Petes are leading the the London Knights 2-1 for the OHL championship and a ticket to the Memorial Cup. After being held pointless in the first two games of the series, Stillman had two goals and an assist in Game 3 including this game-tying snipe early in the third period, which the announcer called a “NHL-caliber shot.”
Quite the snipe for the 10th goal of the game @NJDevils prospect @ChaseStillman scores his second of the night and the @PetesOHLhockey even things at five just a minute into the third! #OHLChampionship | #LDNvsPBO pic.twitter.com/dt9AlKACUt— Ontario Hockey League (@OHLHockey) May 16, 2023
Stillman now has 12 points in 18 playoff games playing mostly on the Pete’s second line. A 20-year-old former first rounder, Stillman has already signed his ELC and will begin his professional career in 2023-24, but Devils management must still make other decisions on some of their other prospects this summer. Here are some of them.
Nikola Pasic broke out in a big way this year in the HockeyAllsvenskan finishing fourth in the league with 52 points in 51 games. Check out this snipe courtesy of EP Rinkside.
Pasic’s rights end on June 1st. He will need to be signed before then to remain Devils property. The problem is that Pasic has already signed a contract with Lulea to play in the SHL in 2023-2024. While I do not know the particulars of Pasic’s contract it is likely possible that Pasic also signs his ELC and is “loaned” back to Lulea, but that window is shutting fast. Personally, I would like to see Pasic signed as the Devils could use offensive players in their system, but I am not optimistic that it will happen.
Goaltender Gilles Senn’s rights end on June 30th. Senn may sound familiar to Devils fans as he played two games for the team in 2019-20. Management let him return to HC Davos after that. Senn is now 27 and has not been talked about as an option since, so I would not wager on a return although Senn had a tremendous year this past season with a 2.24 GAA and .922%. So, anything is possible.
Per Capfriendly, the rights of five Devils prospects end after the 2023-2024 season. While these are not immediate issues, it is common for key prospects to be signed a year early to not risk losing them, so I will address all five here.
The first, 21-year-old center Jaromir Pytlik, was the Devils 4th round selection in the 2020 entry draft. A once promising prospect, Pytlik has struggled since his draft year with injuries and losing most of the 2020-2021 season to the pandemic. Pytlik has three points in 33 games for Rytiri Kladano in the top Czech league this past season. I expect Pytlik to return to Rytiri Kladano next year and hope for a breakout. Pytlik’s rights end on June 1, 2024. Given Pytlik’s struggles this season, there are not many highlights, so enjoy this. Who wouldn’t want the Lord of the Pucks on their team?
Přijde nějaký Dágol?— Jiří Vítek (@JVitek94) May 1, 2023
Přijde (Jaromír) Pytlík? https://t.co/3oSg6wOCCV
Per Capfriendly, there are also four collegiate prospects whose rights end on August 15, 2024. Of the four, the most interesting prospect is forward Artem Shlaine.
Artem Shlaine, a former Fifth Round pick in the 2020 entry draft, broke out this season after a transfer to Northern Michigan putting up 32 points in 38 games. For more on Shlaine’s rise please read my spotlight here. Peter Robinson NHL.com also interviewed the young forward in November about his progress to earning a professional contract. It is a worthwhile read.
Despite the points, highlights are oddly sparse for Shlaine on Twitter. Here are a few.
While this is an empty net goal, I really like how Shlaine uses his speed and reach to get by the defender. Here is another highlight.
The Wildcats get a goal back late in the second period. Artem Shlaine is there in front, with Joey Larson doing some screen work in front, as the puck comes from behind the net. 3-2 Irish still lead NMU going to third period. pic.twitter.com/0sjID6DpFU— Jack Hall (@JackHall600) October 17, 2022
In this play, Shlaine puts the puck in from the slot. After driving hard to the net for a shot, Shlaine cycles around and comes back at the right time to pick up the “loose change” as Ken Daneyko might say. It’s not the prettiest of goals, but it’s a smart, hard-edged hockey play. Personally, I would like to see Shlaine signed. I think he’s shown enough at this level for a contract.
RW Patrick Moynihan has transferred to Notre Dame to start 2023-2024, so he is unlikely to sign this summer. A change in scenery hopefully benefits the young winger, who regressed to only 10 points in 34 games for Providence this year. One would think Moynihan would be putting up better numbers with snipes like these.
Max Crozier (#24 in black) picks up the primary assist on this power play goal. He gets the faceoff win from Parker Ford (‘00), then feeds it over to Patrick Moynihan (NJD) for the goal.— Future Bolts (@LightningProsp1) January 9, 2023
Alas, he has not. Moynihan is still a solid defensive forward and he does still possess those “intangibles” that coach’s love, so if he can rediscover his offensive touch there is a potential depth forward there. Moynihan also has the intangible of being Jack Hughes’s friend and golf buddy, so there’s that. Personally, I was a big believer in the Moynihan pick when it was made and I hope he has a comeback year to prove the doubters wrong.
RD Case McCarthy has been named captain for what will be his fifth season with the Boston University Terriers in 2023-24, so I would be very surprised if he signed with the Devils this summer. Also, McCarthy suffered a season-ending injury on this play by the aforementioned Patrick Moynihan, so management will likely want to see his recover first if they are on the fence about the defenseman.
Pretty scary situation between Providence and BU (men's). The stretcher is coming out for NJ Devils prospect Case McCarthy after he went into the boards following a clean hit. pic.twitter.com/yDiJjh4Lyy— Adam Herman (@AdamZHerman) March 17, 2023
McCarthy had 15 points in 35 games for the Terriers this season, but is known more for his shutdown physical play. As the Devils blueline will be crowded in the coming years, there is a good chance that McCarthy waits it out and signs with whatever team gives him the best path to the NHL. We shall see.
Lastly, goaltender Cole Brady will need consideration. Brady backed up Luke Pavicich this season to the tun of a 3.10 GAA and .907%. Luckily for Brady, Pavicich has transferred to UMass Lowell for 2023-24. Brady will likely need to take the reigns of the starting job and perform well for UMass before earning an ELC.
Now is the time to tell us what you think. Who should be signed this summer? Talk about this or any other prospects below.