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New Jersey Devils GM Ray Shero took care of some housekeeping today, signing forward prospects Fabian Zetterlund and Mikhail Maltsev to three-year, entry-level contracts.
Zetterlund, 19, was a 3rd round pick in the 2017 draft. He had a respectable 2018-19 campaign, dressing in 16 SHL games and picking up four points.
Zetterlund did flash some upside in the 2018 World Junior Summer Showcase, however, he is more known for his speed, work ethic, and forechecking than offensive ability.
That checks out, especially when comparing him to someone that is (like Jesper Boqvist). At the same age, Boqvist put up better than .50 points per game while Zetterlund managed .25.
His ceiling appears to be that of a modern-day bottom-6 forward. Steady ice time next season in Binghamton should give us a better indication of how close he is to becoming that.
Maltsev, 21, was a 4th round pick in 2016. He split this past season between the KHL and VHL.
Playoffs included, he put up five points in 31 games while playing a limited role with SKA St. Petersburg.
His production in the VHL, predictably, was much better. He recorded 17 points in 31 games. Among all 21&U players, only five regulars averaged more points per game than Maltsev (.55).
I don't know that I'd project the tall, rangy forward to be a consistent point producer if and when he makes the NHL, but his production suggests there is *some* potential there.
As is the case with Zetterlund, the 2019-20 season in Binghamton will give us a better indicator of where he is at.
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