David Quenneville is the next wave of defensemen in the New York Islanders never-ending line of defensive prospects. And today, the New York Islanders locked him up for three years.
With 80 points in 70 games for the WHL’s Medicine Hat Tigers, David Quenneville is an attractive defensive prospect. Thankfully, the New York Islanders drafted him 200th overall in the sixth round of the 2016 NHL draft.
And today, the New York Islanders signed their draftee to a three year ELC. The terms of the deal have yet to be released.
“So wait, why did a guy who put up 80 points get drafted in the sixth round? Did it come out of nowhere?”
Size Doesn’t Matter
Sorta. In his draft year, Quenneville put up 55 points in 64 games from the back end. Which was good, and even close to some players taken in the first round. That same year Jake Bean, also playing in the WHL, put up 64 points in 68 games and was drafted 13th overall by the Carolina Hurricanes.
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So why did Quenneville go a full 187 picks later then Bean? They played the same caliber of competition and put up similar records. It’s not to say that Quenneville should have gone 13th overall, but a 187 spot difference for nine points seems drastic.
At 5’8″ Quenneville doesn’t have the size. According to NHL.com, only 17 players are 5’8″ or shorter. And only one of them is a defenseman. Joe Hicketts out of Detroit. That’s why Quenneville was drafted in the seventh round and not the first. It was about size, not production.
Remember the NHL is still predicated on the notion that “size matter”. As if we haven’t learned anything from the Martin St. Louis’, the Theo Fleury’s or Jared Spurgeon’s of the world. Size doesn’t matter if you have the skill.
But Quenneville’s got the skill to go to the next level. His 80 points in 70 games this season for the Tigers ranked him top for defensemen in scoring for the WHL. He’s outgrown the WHL. And now joins a parade of defensive prospects in the Islanders system.
Ryan Pulock is already in the NHL and getting plenty of attention for his play. Devon Toews is already outgrowing the AHL and ready for the NHL. Although an injury this year put that plan on hold for the time being.
Mitchell Vande Sompel is next behind Toews. He made the move up to the AHL this season and is taking strides. And now we have Quenneville behind him.
The New York Islanders 2017-18 season has been a bitter disappointment. And that disappointment might continue as we’re hurdled towards John Tavares’ pending unrestricted free agency. At least we know we got a few players coming up the pipeline… I doubt that made you feel better.