Medicine Hat(WHL) defenseman David Quenneville is looking to become the third member of his family to become an NHL Draft pick following in the footsteps of his older brothers Peter(195th to Columbus in 2013) and John(30th overall to New Jersey in 2014). Also, his second cousind, Joel, happens to the be the second-winnginest coach in NHL history. But Quenneville is more than just good bloodlines. There's a lot to like about the young, offensive-minded defenseman, who should be a solid mid-round draft choice this year.
Player: David Quenneville
Team: Medicine Hate Tigers(WHL)
Height: 5'8" Weight: 182 lbs.
Stats: 64 games, 14 goals, 41 assitss, 55 points, -21
Final NHL Central Scouting Rank: 144th among North American skaters
What I Like:
-Loves to Shoot
Quenneville loves to use his slap shot from the point and he can get it off quickly and accurately. When you're talking about defensemen scoring from the point, it's basically a numbers game: the more pucks a guy gets on net, the more likely he's going to have one sneak through, or create havoc in front of the net with rebounds. Quenneville never hesitates when he gets the puck back there. If he gets it, he's looking to get it on net.
-Creates Shooting Lanes
Quenneville isn't a guy that just blasts away when he gets the puck. He's great at using his fake shot to get a defender to commit, then using his lateral quickness to side-step him and get a shot through on net. A couple examples:
-Poise Under Pressure
An underrated aspect of Quenneville's game that I really like is his ability to handle pressure and make a good play, rather than making a safe play that isn't as effective. This is a great example. For most defensemen, even at the NHL level, this puck is going to be taken behind the net and chipped up the boards. Instead, Quenneville stops on a dime, reverses the puck, and the result is a clean, easy breakout. That's a next-level skill.
For a little guy, Quenneville isn't afraid to step up in the neutral zone and lay a big hit on an unsuspecting forward, or drop on oncoming forward with a hip check. It's not a huge part of his game, but he does it enough to keep opposing forwards honest and on their toes.
What I Don't Like:
There's a downside to that physical aggressiveness which is that Quenneville isn't always the best at picking his spots and managing his gaps, which sometimes leads to big whiffs and quality chances for the opposition.
I would describe Quenneville's skating as quick, but not fast. He's got a good first step, and moves laterally really well, but he's not going to be a defenseman that gets up and down the ice with ease and is a big threat off the rush.
We're long past the days when a player is automatically disqualified based on size alone, but Quenneville isn't that big, and that's going to present some challenges for him on the defensive end.
Quenneville was 144th in the final Central Scouting Rankings, which is up from 201 at the mid-terms, but still seems low to me, and a strong World U18s after the final rankings came out likely raised him even more. I have him ranked more in the late-2nd/early-3rd round range. I would expect him to get drafted somewhere in the range of picks 75-110.
Quenneville is definitely a boom-or-bust type of player. If he can improve defensively, he's got the offensive instincts to a be a Sami Vatanen-type player that is a nice contributor on the power play.