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Quenneville made strong impression at Devils camp

Monday, 08.4.2014 / 9:48 AM ET / Features
By Mike G. Morreale  - NHL.com Staff Writer
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Quenneville made strong impression at Devils camp
John Quenneville, the New Jersey Devils\' 2014 first-round pick, made a nice impression on future teammates and coaches during the team\'s prospect camp

2014 first-rounder John Quenneville showed poise and promise at Rookie Camp.

NEWARK, N.J. -- The New Jersey Devils wasted no time introducing first-round pick John Quenneville to the rigors of professional hockey.

In a puck-possession drill that opened a morning session at development camp, the No. 30 pick in the 2014 NHL Draft went 1-on-1 against 2012 first-round choice Stefan Matteau, who spent last season with the Albany Devils of the American Hockey League.

"He has shown talent and has size to him; he reminds me of me in my first year," Matteau, a No. 29 pick, said. "He's a good player and will be an NHL player for sure."

As you would expect, the matchup was intense and physical. Matteau used his 6-foot-2, 220-pound frame to shield the puck when he had possession. Quenneville (6-1, 185) exhibited speed and hand quickness when it was his turn to play keep-away at center ice.

"It was nice doing that puck-possession drill," Quenneville said. "I guess, competition-wise, Matteau is a pretty good guy to go up against. He's a big body and made it tough on me, but he makes me a better player and I enjoyed it."

Quenneville closed his day with a nifty goal against 2013 seventh-round pick Anthony Brodeur, the son of Martin Brodeur, during a 3-on-3 scrimmage.

A second cousin of Chicago Blackhawks coach Joel Quenneville, and nephew (through marriage) of Boston Bruins defenseman Johnny Boychuk, Quenneville had 25 goals and 58 points in 61 games as a center with the Brandon Wheat Kings in the Western Hockey League last season.

Scouts like the fact Quenneville has good hands, a hard shot and a tremendous motor.

"He's a good kid and I was impressed with him in the scrimmages," Devils coach Peter DeBoer said. "This is the first step in his development on the road to the NHL. He's a ways away, but it's nice to see him in person and on the ice."

Quenneville, who turned 18 in April, can play center or wing but prefers the middle.

"I'm comfortable in both positions but I'm best suited at center; that's where I would help the team most," he said.

Quenneville had nine goals, 21 points and was a plus-13 in his final 22 regular-season games for the Wheat Kings, and had five goals, 13 points and a plus-4 rating in nine WHL playoff games.

"Leadership is super important," Quenneville said. "Going into my 18-year-old year in Brandon it's going to be my third year on the team. I think taking a leadership role is going to be not only important for myself as a player but for the team.

"Leadership is important when the team needs direction. I want to be that guy for our team. We have a lot of good, young guys coming into Brandon and I want to show them how to do it the right way."

Brandon's top line of Quenneville, right wing Jayce Hawryluk (Florida Panthers, No. 32, 2014) and 2015 draft-eligible left wing Jesse Gabrielle accounted for 13 goals and 31 points in the WHL playoffs. They likely will remain intact to start this season.

After missing the 2013 WHL playoffs with the worst record in the Eastern Conference, the Wheat Kings earned the seventh seed in the East and upset the second-seeded Regina Pats in four games.

"The win in the first round of the playoffs against Regina was my most memorable hockey moment so far," Quenneville said.

He said he doesn't feel more pressure in camp as a first-round pick.

"There are a lot of good hockey players here and I just want to show up and work hard," he said. "I'm not too nervous about stuff like that. I'm pretty confident in my skills. I talked to Coach DeBoer and it was more of a get-to-know-you talk. The coaches are teaching lessons on what we need to do on the ice and it was nice learning from them."

Follow Mike Morreale on Twitter at: @mikemorrealeNHL

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EASTERN CONFERENCE
  TEAM GP W L OT GF GA PTS
1 p - NYR 82 53 22 7 252 192 113
2 y - MTL 82 50 22 10 221 189 110
3 x - TBL 82 50 24 8 262 211 108
4 x - WSH 82 45 26 11 242 203 101
5 x - NYI 82 47 28 7 252 230 101
6 x - DET 82 43 25 14 235 221 100
7 x - OTT 82 43 26 13 238 215 99
8 x - PIT 82 43 27 12 221 210 98
9 BOS 82 41 27 14 213 211 96
10 FLA 82 38 29 15 206 223 91
11 CBJ 82 42 35 5 236 250 89
12 PHI 82 33 31 18 215 234 84
13 NJD 82 32 36 14 181 216 78
14 CAR 82 30 41 11 188 226 71
15 TOR 82 30 44 8 211 262 68
16 BUF 82 23 51 8 161 274 54

STATS

2014-2015 REGULAR SEASON
SKATERS: GP G A +/- Pts
A. Henrique 75 16 27 -6 43
M. Cammalleri 68 27 15 2 42
P. Elias 69 13 21 -20 34
S. Gomez 58 7 27 -10 34
S. Bernier 67 16 16 2 32
T. Zajac 74 11 14 -3 25
A. Larsson 64 3 21 2 24
A. Greene 82 3 19 1 22
E. Gelinas 61 6 13 -2 19
M. Ryder 47 6 13 -1 19
 
GOALIES: W L OT Sv% GAA
C. Schneider 26 31 9 .925 2.26
K. Kinkaid 6 5 4 .915 2.59