New Jersey Devils Prospect College Roundup - Merrill is Back and Pietila Strikes Gold

A look at the college prospects in action last week including Jon Merrill returning to the Wolverines and Blake Pietila getting gold.

Welcome to the New Jersey Devil's College Prospect Roundup. This week we finally got to see Jon Merrill in a regular season game and Pietila won gold with team USA.

CCHA

Player

Position

Team

Games Played

Goals

Assists

Points

PMIN

Shots

+/-

Jon Merrill

D

University of Michigan

2

0

0

0

2

1

0

Blake Coleman

C

Miami University

-

-

-

-

-

-

-

Curtis Gedig

D

Ohio State

-

-

-

-

-

-

-



Jon Merrill:
He's back! Merrill was cleared by doctors late last week and saw his first game action in a 5-3 loss to the US Under-18 team. He did not see much ice time and was used mostly on the powerplay.
In his second game back the Wolverines lost 5-1 to Bowling Green. It was his first game back that he played with his partner, Jacob Trouba. There doesn't seem to much of a boost for the team having Merrill back, but hopefully he will find his legs soon and get back to what he does best.

Blake Coleman:
Miami University was off last weekend after the Three Rivers Classic the week before.

Curtis Gedig:
Ohio State was also off last weekend. They will be back in action against Ferris State on Friday.

In the CCHA, most teams were off last weekend. Miami is still in second, Ohio State is in fourth, and Michigan is in seventh.

WCHA

Player

Position

Team

Games Played

Goals

Assists

Points

PMIN

Shots

+/-

Blake Pietila

LW

Michigan Tech

-

-

-

-

-

-

-

Derek Rodwell

LW

University of North Dakota

-

-

-

-

-

-

-

Seth Helgeson

D

University of Minnesota

1

0

0

0

0

0

+1

Joe Faust

D

University of Wisconsin

2

0

0

0

0

2

+1



Blake Pietila:
Michigan was off last weekend, but Blake Pietila had one of the biggest hockey weeks of his life. He was a part of the USA Gold Medal winning team at the World Junior Championships in Ufa, Russia last weekend. It was awesome to see what Pietila can do throughout the tournament. If you didn't get a chance to watch, he was used regularly on the penalty kill and in the final minutes of close games. He is defensively responsible but is also fast and strong on the forecheck. He only scored once in the pre-tourney games and had two assists against Germany, but he was an involved player on the "energy line" which stayed together until the end. Here are his final stats from the tournament:

Player

Games Played

Goals

Assists

Points

PMIN

Shots

+/-

Blake Pietila

7

0

2

2

0

11

+5



Reruns of the games are still being played on NHL Network - they are definitely worth watching.

Derek Rodwell:
While UND had a successful weekend going 2-0 against Holy Cross, Derek Rodwell did not play. He was injured right before the holiday break during a game against Michigan Tech. His thigh was cut by a teammate's skate. He is expected to be out for a few weeks.

Seth Helgeson:
Helgeson only played in one game this week. It was a big matchup between the number one and two seeds in the nation. The University of Minnesota (1) beat Notre Dame (2) on Tuesday 4-1. Helgeson was kept quiet without a point or any shots.

Joe Faust:
Joe Faust and the University of Wisconsin had a successful weekend against Alaska Anchorage winning both games played. Although Faust did not register a point, Buckys5thquarter reported that the veterans on defense are playing their best hockey of the season. They are doing everything that needs to be done to give their team a chance to win each night.

In the WCHA, North Dakota is in fifth, University of Minnesota is in sixth, University of Wisconsin is in eighth, and Michigan Tech is in eleventh.

Totals:

Player

Games Played

Goals

Assists

Points

PMIN

Shots

+/-

Jon Merrill

2

0

0

0

2

1

0

Blake Coleman

20

5

4

9

29

77

+2

Curtis Gedig

18

0

4

4

6

26

+11

Blake Pietila

16

10

2

12

16

49

-6

Derek Rodwell

18

1

0

1

14

22

+1

Seth Helgeson

21

0

3

3

30

22

+2

Joe Faust

18

0

0

0

8

16

+3



With only two prospects playing with their team and Pietila winning gold with the U.S., Pietila has to take my standout spot of the week. Congratulations to him and the rest of the U.S. WJC team!

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