With the OHL, WHL, and college playoffs in full swing, it was an exciting week for the prospects. But, perhaps the biggest news of the week was a team being bumped from the playoffs. Jon Merrill decided to go pro after his junior season with the Wolverines came to an end. He will be reporting to Albany shortly to finish the AHL regular season with an amateur tryout. A few other prospects saw their season's come to an end, as well, while others are still going strong in the first round of the playoffs. Keep reading for an in depth look at what is going on in the prospect world.
First, here is a table of each OHL, WHL, and college prospect's final stats from the regular season:
|Graham Black||1993||WHL||Swift Current Broncos||C||66||24||26||50||4||0.76||7||0|
|Reid Boucher||1993||OHL||Sarnia Sting||LW||65||62||32||94||15||1.45||21||1|
|Artur Gavrus||1994||OHL||Owan Sound Attack||RW||18||5||6||11||0||0.61||1||0|
|Ben Johnson||1994||OHL||Windsor Spitfires||C||64||20||17||37||-28||0.58||4||0|
|Alexander Kerfoot||1994||BCHL||Coquitlam Express||C||16||8||11||19||1.19|
|Reece Scarlett||1993||WHL||Swift Current Broncos||D||65||8||39||47||13||0.72||1||0|
|Damon Severson||1994||WHL||Kelowna Rockets||D||68||8||40||48||38||0.71||5||0|
|Ben Thomson||1993||OHL||Kitchener Rangers||LW||65||13||15||28||-6||0.43||1||1|
|Jon Merrill||1992||NCAA||University of Michigan||D||17||2||6||8||2||0.47||2||0||21||9.52%|
|Blake Coleman||1991||NCAA||Miami University||C||36||8||8||16||6||0.44||2||0||116||6.90%|
|Curtis Gedig||1991||NCAA||Ohio State||D||28||2||8||10||6||0.36||2||0||44||4.55%|
|Blake Pietila||1993||NCAA||Michigan Tech||LW||32||14||9||23||-1||0.72||3||0||87||16.09%|
|Derek Rodwell||1990||NCAA||University of North Dakota||LW||29||1||1||2||0||0.07||0||0||38||2.63%|
|Seth Helgeson||1990||NCAA||University of Minnesota||D||36||0||5||5||-3||0.14||0||0||36||0.00%|
|Joe Faust||1991||NCAA||University of Wisconsin||D||36||1||0||1||1||0.03||0||1||27||3.70%|
Here is a table that will be updated each week with playoff stats: (Players in italics have been eliminated)
|Graham Black||1993||WHL||Swift Current Broncos||C||4||1||2||3||-2||0|
|Reid Boucher||1993||OHL||Sarnia Sting||LW||4||2||3||5||-6||4|
|Artur Gavrus||1994||OHL||Owen Sound Attack||RW||4||1||2||3||1||2|
|Ben Johnson||1994||OHL||Windsor Spitfires||C||-||-||-||-||-||-|
|Reece Scarlett||1993||WHL||Swift Current Broncos||D||4||0||3||3||-1||10|
|Damon Severson||1994||WHL||Kelowna Rockets||D||4||1||3||4||-1||6|
|Ben Thomson||1993||OHL||Kitchener Rangers||LW||3||1||0||1||0||6|
|Jon Merrill||1992||NCAA||University of Michigan||D||4||1||3||4||3|
|Blake Coleman||1991||NCAA||Miami University||C||2||0||0||0||4|
|Curtis Gedig||1991||NCAA||Ohio State||D||3||1||4||5||6|
|Blake Pietila||1993||NCAA||Michigan Tech||LW||2||0||1||1||-6|
|Derek Rodwell||1990||NCAA||University of North Dakota||LW||2||1||0||1||0|
|Seth Helgeson||1990||NCAA||University of Minnesota||D||3||0||0||0||-4|
|Joe Faust||1991||NCAA||University of Wisconsin||D||5||0||0||0||3|
|Matt Anderson||1982||AHL||Albany Devils||RW||59||13||28||41||4||0.69||2||1||154||8.4|
|Joe Whitney||1988||AHL||Albany Devils||LW||54||23||22||45||14||0.83||5||0||168||13.7|
|Steve Zalewski||1986||AHL||Albany Devils||C||62||10||26||36||-3||0.58||1||0||130||7.7|
|Harri Pesonen (X)||1988||AHL||Albany Devils||LW||54||11||14||25||5||0.46||3||0||101||10.9|
|Andrei Loktionov (total) (X)||1990||AHL||Albany Devils||C||40||7||15||22||3||0.55||1||2||84||8.3|
|Jacob Josefson||1991||AHL||Albany Devils||C||37||9||15||24||10||0.65||2||2||91||9.9|
|Tim Sestito (X)||1984||AHL||Albany Devils||C||57||7||13||20||-3||0.35||0||0||92||7.6|
|Adam Larsson (X)||1992||AHL||Albany Devils||D||33||4||15||19||-1||0.58||2||0||46||8.7|
|Mattias Tedenby||1990||AHL||Albany Devils||LW||31||9||8||17||-5||0.55||2||0||57||15.8|
|Eric Gelinas||1991||AHL||Albany Devils||D||46||5||15||20||2||0.43||3||0||122||4.1|
|Mike Sislo||1988||AHL||Albany Devils||RW||49||9||10||19||1||0.39||1||2||104||8.7|
|Phil DeSimone||1987||AHL||Albany Devils||C||35||9||7||16||-1||0.46||3||0||65||13.8|
|Brandon Burlon||1990||AHL||Albany Devils||D||46||1||16||17||7||0.37||0||0||42||2.4|
|Darcy Zajac||1986||AHL||Albany Devils||C||58||8||7||15||2||0.26||0||1||75||10.7|
|Chad Wiseman||1981||AHL||Albany Devils||LW||36||3||10||13||-8||0.36||0||0||55||5.5|
|Chris McKelvie||1985||AHL||Albany Devils||LW||36||3||9||12||-3||0.33||0||1||42||7.1|
|Adam Henrique (X)||1990||AHL||Albany Devils||C||16||5||3||8||1||0.50||1||0||40||12.5|
|Mike Hoeffel||1989||AHL||Albany Devils||LW||44||4||5||9||-1||0.20||0||0||67||6|
|Jay Leach||1979||AHL||Albany Devils||D||49||2||6||8||3||0.16||0||0||39||5.1|
|Corbin McPherson||1999||AHL||Albany Devils||D||61||2||5||7||6||0.11||0||0||63||3.2|
|Dan Kelly||1989||AHL||Albany Devils||D||44||2||6||8||10||0.18||0||0||30||6.7|
|Alexander Urbom||1990||AHL||Albany Devils||D||59||0||7||7||4||0.12||0||0||52||0|
|Raman Hrabarenka||1992||AHL||Albany Devils||D||32||1||4||5||1||0.16||0||0||46||2.2|
|Kelly Zajac||1988||AHL||Albany Devils||C||12||2||2||4||0||0.33||0||0||12||16.7|
|Scott Parse (X)||1984||AHL||Albany Devils||RW||15||1||3||4||-7||0.27||1||0||18||5.6|
|Matthew Corrente (X)||1988||AHL||Albany Devils||D||11||0||2||2||-1||0.18||0||0||7||0|
|David Wohlberg||1990||AHL||Albany Devils||C||28||2||4||6||1||0.21||0||0||33||6.1|
|Bryan Haczyk (X)||1987||ECHL||Trenton Titans||RW||41||15||12||27||-10||0.66||8||0||122||12.3|
|Harry Young||1989||ECHL||Trenton Titans||LW||4||0||0||0||-2||0.00||0||0||1||0|
|Cam Janssen||1984||AHL||Albany Devils||RW||24||0||2||2||-2||0.08||0||0||8||0|
|Stepan Stepanov||1992||AHL||Albany Devils||D||1||0||0||0||-1||0.00||0||0||0||0|
|Jean-Sebastien Berube||1990||AHL||Albnay Devils||LW||5||0||0||0||6||0.00||0||0||5||0|
|(X Indicates player is no longer on current roster)|
- As noted above, Jon Merrill signed an Entry Level Contract with New Jersey yesterday.
- Derek Rodwell was scratched last weekend for the second time this season. He has one goal in the playoffs.
- Artur Gavrus has continued to pile on the points since finding some sort of scoring spark a few weeks ago. He has three points in the playoffs so far (one goal, two assists) for the Owen Sound Attack in four games.
- The Albany Devils have now lost six games in a row. The team is in 13th place in the Eastern Conference of the AHL and is six points out of a playoff spot with twelve games left in the regular season. Just a few weeks ago it looked as though they may make a push into the playoffs, but the possibility of that is looking slimmer after each game.
- On a higher note, Albany can anticipate two new faces in the next week - both Jon Merrill and Reid Boucher are expected to report to Albany any day now after both the Sting and Wolverines were eliminated from the playoffs. Both have signed Entry Level Contracts with New Jersey and will be playing on a tryout in Albany for the remainder of this season - this will not have any affect on their contracts. More prospects may be heading to the AHL as the playoffs progress, as well.
- Albany suffered four losses last week:
- Albany lost 5-2 to Binghamton on March 22 with Matt Anderson and David Wohlberg scoring the only goals for the Devils. It was Wohlberg's second career goal.
- On March 23, Albany fell to Syracuse 3-1. Frazee made 33 saves while Matt Anderson scored his second goal in two games.
- In the final game of a 3-in-3 series, Albany lost to Bridgeport 4-2. Mike Sislo and David Wohlberg scored while Keith Kinkaid made 27 saves.
- Last night, Albany lost to St. Johns 4-2. Joe Whitney scored for Albany extending a point streak to four games while Brandon Burlon scored his first of the season.
- Both Mattias Tedenby and Jacob Josefson have been skating, but neither is ready to play in a game yet. Tedenby was injured severely by a cut on his face in February while Josefson has been out with a concussion.
- Tim Sestito and Harri Pesonen were both called up to New Jersey due to the many injuries seen by the Devils. They have been traveling with the team and are expected to stay through the road trip in Florida.
There were many prospects that saw their season come to a close this week:
- Stefan Matteau has been successful since his return to Blainville-Boisbriand. Armada is leading their series 3-1 against Acadie-Bathurst. They look to move on to the quarterfinals in game-five tomorrow night.
- The Sarnia Sting was eliminated from the playoffs last night - they were swept by the Plymouth Whalers. This gives Reid Boucher the opportunity to play for Albany for the remainder of their season.
- Ben Thomson and the Kitchener Rangers are leading the Guelph Storm 2-1.
- Artur Gavrus and the Owen Sound Attack are tied 2-2 in their series with Sault Ste. Marie Greyhounds.
- The Swift Current Broncos are trailing 1-3 in their series against the Calgary Hitmen. Although the team is struggling, both Graham Black and Reece Scarlett have been playing well for the club.
- The Kelowna Rockets are being 1-3 in their series against Seattle Thunderbirds. They got their first win last night with a 4-0 victory.
- Joe Faust and the University of Wisconsin defeated Colorado College to become champions of the WCHA. This earned them the a spot in the NCAA competition this weekend.
- The University of Michigan - featuring top prospect Jon Merrill, lost to Notre Dame in the CCHA finals.
There will be a few college prospects playing in the 2013 NCAA Hockey Tournament:
- Joe Faust and Wisconsin will represent the Northeast facing UMass Lowell.
- Blake Coleman and Miami will face Minnesota State for the Midwest.
- In the west, the first seed Minnesota, featuring senior Seth Helgeson will face Yale. Derek Rodwell and the University of North Dakota will face Niagara.
These games begin this weekend leading to the Frozen Four, which will take place April 11 and 13 at the Consol Energy Center in Pittsburgh, PA.
The prospect highlighted today is Jon Merrill. He decided yesterday to turn pro after his junior season at the University of Michigan. Fans have been anxiously waiting for this decision, as he is a top prospect for the Devils. In 82 games with the Wolverines, Merrill has scored 11 goals and 36 assists. His sophomore and junior seasons were cut short due to a suspension and injury.
There is some worry as to his maturity level after being suspended for half of his sophomore season, but it was noted quite frequently this season that he seems to have grown up a lot and took on a major leadership role in Michigan even while being sidelined with a fractured vertebrae. It will be exciting to see how he performs in Albany in the coming weeks.
If you'd like to learn more about Merrill, take a look at the post John wrote before the season started - he was listed the number four prospect in New Jersey by the writers on In Lou We Trust. Although a lot has changed since this was written, it has great insight.
That's it for the update this week. What are your thoughts on Jon Merrill going pro? Do you think he has what it takes to make the NHL sooner rather than later? What do you expect to see from Reid Boucher in the AHL? Do you think Albany can make the final push and squeeze into the playoffs? Feel free to discuss anything prospect related in the comments below. Thanks for reading!