Quenneville, 20, was a seventh-round pick (200th overall) pick by the Islanders in 2016 and the only remaining player from that draft requiring an imminent decision. If he hadn’t signed by June, the Isles’ rights to him would lapse and he could re-enter this year’s draft...
...Not that that option would’ve appealed to him. Based on his comments as reported in the Medicine Hat News, it was two full days after his season ended that he got the call from the Isles. So, “a big stress relief” to get this done and get started on his pro career.
This way he gets to report to a pro team now and get a feel for what’s expected of him and how things run.
Here’s a WHL highlight reel of Quenneville’s goals, many coming from a left-wing setup on the power play:
So you can see how he racks up gaudy totals — 80 points on 26 goals in 70 games this season alone, as he broke the franchise record for all-time scoring by a defenseman.
He’s listed at only 5’9, 195 lbs. — undersized by NHL standards, though that isn’t as much of an issue as it once was. Still, a player needs a lot of mobility and defensive intelligence to thrive on an NHL blueline at that size, so he has promising prospects but some obstacles to overcome.
Either way, that’s not bad for a seventh-round selection. Now like so many who have come before him, the key will be in how he adjusts and evolves the defensive side of his game “playing against men,” while still incorporating the offensive skills that got him recognized and, now, signed to a deal.
He’s expected to be with the AHL Bridgeport Sound Tigers tomorrow. The Sound Tigers have six games left in their season, with a three-in-three this weekend and next weekend. Will he see some game action? They are technically still in the playoff hunt, but unless things go absolutely perfectly the Sound Tigers are likely to be eliminated from postseason contention before next weekend.