New Jersey Devils: Rounding Up World Junior Championships

Shakir Mukhamadullin #17 of Russia. (Photo by Codie McLachlan/Getty Images)
Shakir Mukhamadullin #17 of Russia. (Photo by Codie McLachlan/Getty Images) /

Team USA won the gold medal with Canada taking silver and Finland winning the bronze at this year’s World Junior Championships. The New Jersey Devils had numerous prospects and some played big roles on their teams.


Dawson Mercer

On a stacked Canadian team, Dawson Mercer saw a little less ice time. When he was on the ice, he made the most of it. With two goals and six points in seven games and sporting a +7, he put up the numbers one would hope even from a depth role. However, his biggest contribution was off the puck. Mercer was an absolute puck hound on the ice chasing players into the corner, retrieving the puck on dump ins, and back checking hard every shift. This is exactly what we want to see in young players and these little things will make a coach love a player and keep him in the lineup. Mercer looks like an absolute sure thing to play middle six as a point producing two-way player. The pick looks even better for the Devils now.


Shakir Mukhamadullin

Shakir Mukhamadullin played big minutes for Russia, who had a very up-and-down tournament. Mukhamadullin did not manage to put up a point in the tournament but overall looked decent. He took on the biggest competition doing a pretty good job despite being -2. Some things in his game clearly need work. He plays a little to much passive defense. While good stickwork is nice, he looked hesitant to use his large frame. Big hits are not expected, though they are nice, especially in this tournament someone should be more willing to shove players along the boards and use their size. His lack of killer instinct really reminded me of watching Mirco Mueller, and that was a scary sight. Mukhamadullin’s good start in the KHL was starting to win fans over, but he still has a long way to go.

Arseni Gritsyuk

More from Prospects

In a limited role, Arseni Gritsyuk make the most his tournament appearance. Managing one goal and four points in six games, Gritsyuk produced above expectations. He has a good set of wheels and work ethic on the ice much like Mercer, though with less high end skill. His two-way play was solid, and with a +4 rating it showed on paper as well as during the games. Being a depth pick from the 5th round, it is always a wildcard to see how he develops, but he has shown good growth already in the MHL/VHL and now this bigger stage of the World Juniors. Gritsyuk could make a statement if this continues and show that he is a threat to make the NHL in a few years which would be huge for the Devils depth chart.


Alexander Holtz

Sweden was a disappointing team this tournament not medaling and losing the undefeated streak they had going in the round robin since 2008, made all the worse by being eliminated by its biggest rival Finland. Alexander Holtz suffered the same as his team. Expecting a big tournament with big numbers, he only managed one goal and 3 points in 5 games, which included just one goal on a fluke shot against Russia. The chances were there, but shots were not getting through and the play on his line was almost completely driven by Lucas Raymond who looked like a superstar. Holtz was average at best and needs to get back to form in the SHL but despite the tournament not going his way their is zero reason to worry about him.

Next. Sami Vatanen Adds Depth To Devils Defense. dark

United States

Patrick Moynihan

Playing for the champion American team, Patrick Moynihan played a depth role in five of the seven games and put up two assists. He did not get much ice time but was fast and kept up the tempo and pressure in the role which is something you need to do in limited ice time. You also can not be a liability and while not the best stat he still was a +2 and a well deserved positive player. The expectation moving forward is likely that he will be a bottom six player so much like Gritsyuk being good on both ends and fast moving will go along way to having a successful NHL career.