4/4 Prospect Update: Merrill and Boucher take on the AHL

Bruce Bennett

The update this week looks at Jon Merrill and Reid Boucher - the newest additions of the Albany Devils while they make a push for the post season.

Welcome to the New Jersey Devils prospect update. This week saw many more prospects in the OHL and WHL eliminated from the playoffs along with the debut of Jon Merrill and Reid Boucher in the AHL. Keep reading to see updated statistics from the previous week along with a few individual notes on the standouts.

Regular Season Stats:

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%
Player YOB League Team POS GP G A PTS +/- PPG PP SHG SOG SH%
Joe Whitney 1988 AHL Albany Devils LW 57 25 23 48 15 0.84 6 0 176 14.2
Matt Anderson 1982 AHL Albany Devils RW 62 13 28 41 5 0.66 2 1 159 8.2
Steve Zalewski 1986 AHL Albany Devils C 65 10 28 38 -1 0.58 1 0 135 7.4
Harri Pesonen 1988 AHL Albany Devils LW 56 12 14 26 5 0.46 3 0 106 11.3
Jacob Josefson 1991 AHL Albany Devils C 38 10 15 25 11 0.66 2 2 92 10.9
Mike Sislo 1988 AHL Albany Devils RW 52 11 12 23 4 0.44 1 2 111 9.9
Andrei Loktionov (X) 1990 AHL Albany Devils C 40 7 15 22 3 0.55 1 2 84 8.3
Tim Sestito 1984 AHL Albany Devils C 58 7 14 21 -1 0.36 0 0 92 7.6
Eric Gelinas 1991 AHL Albany Devils D 49 5 14 19 3 0.39 3 0 125 4
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 33 9 9 18 -4 0.55 2 0 60 15
Phil DeSimone 1987 AHL Albany Devils C 37 9 9 18 -1 0.49 3 0 66 13.6
Brandon Burlon 1990 AHL Albany Devils D 49 1 16 17 9 0.35 0 0 42 2.4
Darcy Zajac 1986 AHL Albany Devils C 61 9 7 16 3 0.26 0 1 76 11.8
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 39 3 9 12 -3 0.31 0 1 44 6.8
Jay Leach 1979 AHL Albany Devils D 52 4 7 11 7 0.21 0 0 44 9.1
Mike Hoeffel 1989 AHL Albany Devils LW 46 4 5 9 -1 0.20 0 0 68 5.9
Adam Henrique (X) 1990 AHL Albany Devils C 16 5 3 8 1 0.50 1 0 40 12.5
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 62 0 8 8 6 0.13 0 0 53 0
Corbin McPherson 1989 AHL Albany Devils D 64 2 5 7 6 0.11 0 0 64 3.1
David Wohlberg 1990 AHL Albany Devils C 29 2 4 6 0 0.21 0 0 35 5.7
Stephen Gionta (X) 1983 AHL Albany Devils C 11 2 3 5 -2 0.45 0 0 22 9.1
Raman Hrabarenka 1992 AHL Albany Devils D 32 1 4 5 1 0.16 0 0 46 2.2
Jon Merrill 1992 AHL Albany Devils D 3 0 5 5 3 1.67 0 0 4 0
Reid Boucher 1993 AHL Albany Devils LW 2 2 2 4 1 2.00 2 0 5 40
Kelly Zajac 1988 AHL Albany Devils C 14 2 2 4 1 0.29 0 0 12 16.7
Scott Parse (X) 1984 ECHL Trenton Titans RW 15 1 3 4 -7 0.27 1 0 18 5.6
Cam Janssen 1984 AHL Albany Devils RW 27 1 3 4 0 0.15 0 0 9 11.1
Matthew Corrente (X) 1988 AHL Albany Devils D 11 0 2 2 -1 0.18 0 0 7 0
Bryan Haczyk (X) 1987 ECHL Trenton Titans RW 2 0 1 1 1 0.50 0 0 5 0
Jean-Sebastien Berube 1990 AHL Albany Devils LW 6 0 1 1 2 0.17 0 0 6 0
Stefan Stepanov 1992 AHL Albany Devils D 1 0 0 0 -1 0.00 0 0 0 0
Harry Young 1989 AHL Albany Devils LW 4 0 0 0 -2 0.00 0 0 1 0
(X Indicates player is no longer on current roster)

Goalie YOB League Team Position GP Mins W L OT/SOL SO GA GAA SVS SV%
Maxime Clermont 1991 ECHL Elmira G 41 2333 20 13 3/2 0 126 3.24 1124 0.899
Jeff Frazee 1987 AHL Albany G 24 1417 7 11 0/5 0 59 2.50 643 0.916
Keith Kinkaid 1989 AHL Albany G 41 2416 20 15 0/5 2 108 2.68 1060 0.908
Scott Wedgewood 1992 ECHL Titans G 48 2741 20 22 3/2 2 147 3.22 1329 0.900

Playoff Stats:

NAME YOB League Team POS GP G A PTS +/- PIM
Graham Black 1993 WHL Swift Current Broncos C 5 1 3 4 -2 2
Reid Boucher 1993 OHL Sarnia Sting LW 4 2 3 5 -6 4
Artur Gavrus 1994 OHL Owen Sound Attack RW 6 2 3 5 3 2
Ben Johnson 1994 OHL Windsor Spitfires C - - - - - -
Stefan Matteau 1994 QMJHL Armada C 5 1 2 3 2 6
Reece Scarlett 1993 WHL Swift Current Broncos D 5 0 3 3 -2 10
Damon Severson 1994 WHL Kelowna Rockets D 7 1 7 8 4 8
Ben Thomson 1993 OHL Kitchener Rangers LW 5 1 0 1 1 8
Jon Merrill 1992 NCAA University of Michigan D 4 1 3 4 3
Blake Coleman 1991 NCAA Miami University C 4 1 2 3 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 4 0 0 0 -4
Joe Faust 1991 NCAA University of Wisconsin D 5 0 0 0 3

Notes:

  • Although Swift Current Broncos were eliminated from the playoffs in five games, both Graham Black and Reece Scarlett were vital to the Broncos' season.
  • Only four prospects are still playing in the playoffs for their respective teams. Artur Gavrus, Stefan Matteau, Damon Severson and Ben Thomson are still competing, all moving on to the quarterfinals. There are more details on the results and matchups for the next round below.

Playoffs:

  • Artur Gavrus and the Owen Sound Attack will be facing the Plymouth Whalers in the second round of the OHL playoffs. The Whalers were responsible for knocking the Sarnia Sting out in four games. The series will begin on April 5.
  • Ben Thomson and the Kitchener Rangers have moved on in the playoffs after taking out the Guelph Storm in five games. They will be facing the London Knights next.
  • Damon Severson and the Kelowna Rockets came back from a three game deficit to defeat to the Seattle Thunderbirds. Damon Severson was vital in the series getting a goal and seven assists in the seven games. The Rockets are only the second team in WHL history to complete a three game deficit comeback. The series went to overtime five times. I guess you can say they earned their trip to the next round against the Kamloops.
  • Blainville-Boisbriand Armada defeated Acadie-Bathurst in six games to move on to the quarterfinals against Val-D'or with the help of Stefan Matteau.
  • There will be no college prospects playing in the NCAA Frozen Four competition. There were many upsets seeing Blake Coleman from Miami (Ohio), Derek Rodwell and the University of North Dakota, Seth Helgeson and the University of Minnesota and Joe Faust and the University of Wisconsin taken out in the first and second rounds.

Albany:

  • In two games with Albany, Reid Boucher already has four points - two goals and two assists. Although it is a small sample size of games, he is showing what a special player he is, even at the AHL level.
  • Jon Merrill is also shining in Albany. In three games, he has five points - all assists.
  • Jacob Josefson and Mattias Tedenby both returned to the Albany lineup last week after missing significant time with injury. Both found the back of the net in their return.
  • After his season ending in Trenton, Scott Wedgewood was called up to Albany as a third goalie. He will get to practice with the team and hopefully get a few starts with the team as they make a push for the playoffs.
  • Speaking of the playoffs, Albany is three points out of the eighth seed after a successful weekend. They really needed to turn things around after a long losing streak, and they did just that. Every game counts with such a tight race. They have eight games remaining - three this weekend.
  • Albany went 2-0-1 last week:
    • On March 29, Albany beat Hershey 5-3. The Devils saw two goals from Jay Leach and a goal and assist from... wait for it... Cam Janssen. Jon Merrill also posted an assist in his Albany debut.
    • The following night, the Devils lost in the shootout to Portland 5-4. Mike Sislo scored twice and had three assists. Joe Whitney extended his point streak to six games while Reid Boucher had a goal and two assists in his Albany debut.
    • On April 2, the Devils beat Springfield 3-1 getting goals from Reid Boucher, Harri Pesonen and Jacob Josefson. Jon Merrill had two assists and Keith Kinkaid made 35 saves.

Prospect Standout:

This week has two standouts - Jon Merrill and Reid Boucher. Both made their Albany debuts this week, and both made the most of it. Jon Merrill has five points in three games and Reid Boucher has four points in two games. Neither has lost with the Albany Devils in regulation and they have been major factors in the success of the team last weekend. They could be the pieces needed to make a push for the playoffs in the final three weeks of the season. It is really exciting to see them succeed at this level.

That's it for the update this week. What are your thoughts on Merrill and Boucher in the AHL? How far do you see the remaining prospects getting in the playoffs? Do you think Wedgewood deserves a few starts in Albany after an upsetting season in Trenton? Is there anyone you would like to see in the NHL as the Devils make a push for the playoffs? Do you think Albany has what it takes to catch up and make the AHL playoffs? Feel free to answer these questions or discuss anything prospect related in the comments below. Thanks for reading!

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