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Prospect Watch - Jan. 7

by Eric Marin / New Jersey Devils

Blake Pietila (5th round, 2011) and Team USA captured gold at the 2013 IIHF World Junior Championship on Saturday, dethroning defending champion Sweden, 3-1. Pietila appeared in all seven games for the U.S., recording two assists and 11 shots on goal, and finishing a plus-5. The versatile forward also went 20-for-32 (63%) on faceoffs.

The Milford, Mich., native returns to Michigan Tech (CCHA) to finish his sophomore campaign. He has 10 goals and two assists in 17 games with the Huskies this season.

Merrill has returned to the Michigan (CCHA) lineup.

D Jon Merrill (2nd round, 2010) returned to action for Michigan (CCHA) on Friday for the first time since Oct. 9, when he suffered a fractured vertebrae in a preseason game. Merrill was held off the scoresheet in his first game back but saw power play time in the Wolverines' loss to the U.S. National Development Team.

Reid Boucher (4th round, 2011) scored twice for Sarnia (OHL) on Saturday to take over league lead in goals (30) and stretch his points streak to eight games (9g-9a). Boucher, whose streak ended Sunday, ranks third on the Sting with 52 points (30g-22a) in 40 games.

D Damon Severson (2nd round, 2012) continues to put up points for Kelowna (WHL). He added a helper Saturday to extend his assists streak to six games (7a) as the Rockets routed Prince George. Severson’s 29 points (5g-24a) are tops among Kelowna defensemen and eighth among WHL blueliners.

G Maxime Clermont (6th round, 2010) won his fourth in a row for Elmira (ECHL) Friday with a 31-save performance against Reading. The Royals returned the favor Saturday, topping the Jackals to end Clermont’s win streak, but the young netminder is 5-2 in his last seven starts.

F Artur Gavrus (6th round, 2012) was set to return to Owen Sound (OHL) on Monday. He spent the first half of the season skating for Neman Grodno in his native Belarus, tallying five goals and seven assists in 12 games. He posted 15 goals and 22 assists in 45 games with Owen Sound last season.

LW Ben Thomson (4th round, 2012) notched a goal and an assist for Kitchener (OHL) on Friday, giving him three points (1g-2a) in three January games. His season totals stand at eight goals, eight assists for the season.

LW Ben Johnson’s (3rd round, 2012) two-goal game for Windsor (OHL) on Friday was his first multi-goal effort of the season and extended his points streak to three games (3g-1a). He has nine goals, eight assists for the Spitfires this season.

D Reece Scarlett (6th round, 2011) had two assists for Swift Current (WHL) in their win over Lethbridge on Saturday, giving him three helpers in three games this month.

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