Devils Draft Series: Jack Quinn, Elite Goal Scorer

Forward Jack Quinn may be regarded as one of the riskier picks of the first round. (Photo by Richard A. Whittaker/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images)

Profile

Jack Quinn is a 6-foot-1, 179-pound right-winger. The Canadian is 18 years old, with a September birthdate, meaning he is one of the older prospects in this draft. The right-handed shot has played his whole junior career in Canada. He’s spent parts of the last three seasons with the Ottawa 67’s of the OHL. Unlike many of his counterparts in this draft class, he has not played much internationally. In the final 2020 Draft Prospect Rankings, he was ranked seventh among North American skaters, this after being ninth in the midterm rankings. 

The Statistics

Quinn’s production has been interesting over his junior career. He started junior play as a 13-year-old in the Hockey Eastern Ontario Minor AAA League, where he tallied 40 points in 30 games. He then moved up a level and improved to 62 points (38 goals, 24 assists) in 30 games. This number both led the league and is fourth-most in that league’s history. He then moved up one more level in the Hockey Eastern Ontario League and totaled 52 points in 45 games. 

For the 2017-18 season as a 16-year-old, Quinn primarily played in the Central Canada Hockey League (CCHL), totaling 46 points in 49 games. His .94 points per game that season ranked 23rd in a league that had 414 qualified players. At the end of the season, Quinn played eight games in the OHL with the Ottawa 67’s, where he only tallied one assist during this stint.

The 2018-19 season is what deters many away from Quinn. He only contributed 32 points in 61 games for a 67’s’ team that won an OHL-best 50 games and lost in the finals. Given the team was so good, Quinn did not have a ton of ice time. However, he is older and in his draft minus-one season, this is not the production, nor ice time, you want to see. 

This season is what catapulted Quinn up many people’s boards. He tallied 89 points in 62 games, which was third on an explosive 67’s’ team and eighth in the entire league. The most impressive statistic was the 52 goals, which were second-most in the league. Even more staggering is 37 of them were even-strength, which was first in the league by a large margin. Also, since the 2010 OHL season, only eight other players have tallied more than 52 goals in a single season.

The Scouting Report

Strengths

Quinn, for a projected mid-first round pick, has a ton of strengths. His shot is the best part of his game and rivals Alexander Holtz’s for the best in the entire draft class. Everything about it is stellar; its release, accuracy, and speed are all top tier. 

Another stellar part of his game is his stickhandling, as it is borderline elite. He uses this skill to keep control of the puck in all places on the ice and uses it specifically to keep cycles in the offensive zone alive. Additionally, he uses this stickhandling, coupled with a strong deking ability, to often win any one-on-one battles with anyone on the ice. 

Quinn is only 179 pounds but uses his 6-foot-1 frame as Quinton Byfield should. He is strong for his age and uses it in many facets of the game. It is most apparent in puck battles along the boards and when he shields opponents from the puck. Overall, he is a physical player given his size. 

Lastly, he has been described as “an above-average defender.” He uses a long reach to break up a lot of plays, and once again, plays a physical game which helps him immensely in the defensive zone. Also, the use of his elite stickhandling helps him exit defensive zones with ease.

Weaknesses

Although a lot of strengths, Quinn comes with concerns as well. First off, his shooting percentage in the OHL this season was 22 percent. This number is extremely high and not sustainable, meaning he may have been a bit lucky during his 52-goal campaign. 

As was mentioned above, Quinn is a September birthday, which makes him one of the oldest in this class. Usually, this is a meaningless worry. However, his draft minus-one season, which is extremely important for those older prospects in the draft, was unproductive and what calls for concern. 

It’s also worth mentioning his playing for the Ottawa 67’s the past few seasons is a “cheat code.” The 67’s have by far has been the best team in the whole CHL system for the past couple of seasons. Pair this with, once again, how underwhelming Quinn was during last season, it can be another cause for concern.

Projection

In the end, I am most likely higher on Quinn than most. A lot of the weaknesses mentioned above are “what ifs” rather than questions about his actual abilities. He showed a pretty complete game in his latest season and is quietly one of the most NHL-ready prospects in this draft. This, of course, mostly because of being a bit older than his counterparts.

All-in-all Quinn is one of the more interesting prospects in the first round. He will likely be regarded as a risky pick by many. However, given all this, I still expect him to be off the board just outside the top-10. Most likely between picks 12 and 15. 

Fit With the Devils

The Devils should have a couple of chances at Quinn. Of course, he will be available at six, but that is extremely early for him. Pick 10 is where the Devils should consider Quinn. And although I am high on him, there is a very good chance they’ll be better options on the board at this spot. Examples being Jake Sanderson, Anton Lundell, and maybe even Cole Perfetti. If Quinn is there at pick 17, the Devils should pull the trigger. But, in all likelihood, this will most likely not be the case.

As has been stressed in the past, goal scoring has been a need for New Jersey for what seems like years. Like Alexander Holtz, Quinn has an electrifying shot and would fit this need the Devils have perfectly. Also, given the Devils already a plethora of 67’s’ prospects — such as Kevin Bahl, Mitchell Hoelscher, Graeme Clarke, and Nikita Okhotyuk — I am sure the team would love to add to this collection.

Ranking of Evaluated Prospects

1. Alexis Lafrenière (no profile will be released)

2. Tim Stützle (05/07/2020)

3. Marco Rossi (04/30/2020)

4. Quinton Byfield (05/08/2020)

5. Jamie Drysdale (05/01/2020)

6. Lucas Raymond (04/28/2020)

7. Cole Perfetti (05/05/2020)

8. Alexander Holtz (04/29/2020)

9. Jake Sanderson (05/04/2020)

10. Yaroslav Askarov (05/05/2020)

11. Jack Quinn (Today) 

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