3/28 Prospect Update: Jon Merrill signs an ELC

The newest player to sign and ELC with the Devils, Jon Merrill - Gregory Shamus

The update this week looks into the OHL, WHL, and college playoffs along with the entry level contract signed by Jon Merrill.

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:

NAME YOB League Team POS GP G A PTS +/- PPG PP SHG SOG SH%
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
Stefan Matteau 1994 QMJHL Armada C 35 18 10 28 19 0.8 7 1 121 14.88%
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)

NAME YOB League Team POS GP G A PTS +/- PIM
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 - - - - - -
Stefan Matteau 1994 QMJHL Armada C 4 1 2 3 2 4
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

AHL Stats:

Player League Team POS GP G A PTS +/- PPG PP SHG SOG SH%
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)

Goalies League Team POS GP Mins W L OTL/SOL SO GA GAA SVS SV%
Maxime Clermont 1991 ECHL Elmira G 39 2270 19 13 3/2 0 125 3.30 1096 0.898
Jeff Frazee 1987 AHL Albany G 23 1352 7 11 0/4 0 55 2.44 605 0.917
Keith Kinkaid 1989 AHL Albany G 39 2296 18 15 0/5 2 104 2.72 997 0.906
Scott Wedgewood 1992 ECHL Titans G 46 22621 19 21 3/2 1 139 3.18 1257 0.900

Notes:

  • 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.

Albany Notes:

  • 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.

Playoffs:

There were many prospects that saw their season come to a close this week:

QMJHL:

  • 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.

OHL:

  • 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.

WHL:

  • 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.

WCHA:

  • 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.

CCHA:

  • The University of Michigan - featuring top prospect Jon Merrill, lost to Notre Dame in the CCHA finals.

NCAA:

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.

Prospect Spotlight:

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!

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