Despite a famous name, John Quenneville brings his own impressive credentials to the ice, making him a solid first round candidate.
Current Team: Brandon Wheat Kings, WHL
Date of Birth: April 16, 1996
Place of Birth: Sherwood Park, Alberta, Canada
Weight: 187 lbs
As our #30 profile, John Quenneville theoretically represents the final pick in this year's first round -- though we all know that the actual selection process will not follow so neat an arrangement.
Quenneville certainly brings a hockey heritage to the table. Chicago Blackhawks coach Joel Quenneville is John's second cousin, and Boston's Johnny Boychuk became John's uncle after marrying into the Quenneville clan. His brother Peter is a teammate in Brandon, John's prospects, however, are not contingent upon family connections, as he has more than established his own set of impressive credentials on the ice.
Quenneville ranked as the #23 North American skater in the NHL Central Scouting Final Rankings, jumping up from a #34 ranking at mid-season. However, he was unable to crack the ISS Top 30 Rankings at season's end. But, as the saying goes, the game is played on the ice, not on the blackboard, and it is on the ice where Quenneville makes his mark. In 70 regular season and playoff games for Brandon this year, Quenneville was a point-per-game guy, with 30 goals and 41 assists.
Widely regarded as one of the more versatile forwards in the draft, Quenneville has a three-zone game that belies the fact that he just turned 18, and his balance between goals scored and assists shows that he can be both a play-maker and a finisher. He is defensively responsible, and has enough size to make a difference in his own end. As the second video below illustrates, he's also not shy about mixing it up when the circumstances warrant.
If there is criticism of his game, it comes in the skating area. While he possesses the requisite speed, his quickness and acceleration are somewhat in question. Still, things like that can be worked on. The bottom lines is that this youngster has a well-rounded set of skills, is on an upward progression in the WHL, and might be worth a gamble for a team drawing in the bottom third of the first round.
A Good Fit in Columbus?
While Quenneville's skills and maturity would be an asset to any organization, the reality is that he is a "tweener" in terms of the draft numbers. In all likelihood, there will be forwards available at the #16 slot with better skills and less risk. By the same token, he is unlikely to fall deep enough into the second round where he would be available when Columbus picks at #47. Of course, the possibility exists that the Blue Jackets trade down in the first round, but here we rapidly move from informed estimates to rank speculation.
So, while Quenneville's skills would be welcome, the numbers most likely suggest that he will not be donning the Union Blue.
Quenneville in Action