In a camp that was brimming with young talent, John Quenneville is the only one left standing. The Devils came into training camp in need of a winger, and had plenty of candidates vying for the spot. Blake Speers, Joey Anderson, Michael McLeod, and Nick Lappin all made their cases to make the big team but in the end, Quenneville came out on top.
In the past, Quenneville had been pegged as purely a shooter. His lack of conditioning made it hard for him to truly compete for spots in each of the last three seasons. Quenneville would only survive in the NHL for a couple weeks at a time before being exported back to the AHL.
Thoughts by John Hynes on John Quenneville in training camp: "He's prepared. It's probably the first time since he's been here he's come into camp really knowing he had an NHL summer. An NHL diet, weight training and dedication to his craft."
— Mike Morreale (@mikemorrealeNHL) September 24, 2018
This camp was different. Quenneville was extremely noticeable on the ice due to his high energy. This is probably due to the fact many cited Quenneville at being in the best shape he has been in since being drafted. His speed was what made him standout this preseason. He was intense on the forecheck, routinely causing problems with his legs. On top of that, Quenneville showed why he is one of the better goal scorers among the group, fitting comfortably on the team’s powerplay.
Another reason for Quenneville’s addition to the roster is due to the fact this is basically it for him. If he doesn’t succeed in the NHL this year, it is time to cut bait. The rest of the players listed are all younger than Quenneville, and theoretically have more shots in their future. It has been four years since Quenneville was picked 30th overall, and only has 14 NHL games to his name. This is basically time for Quenneville to put up or shut up.
— Devils Insiders (@DevilsInsiders) September 17, 2018
Luckily for us, the recent documentary “Behind the Glass” has offered us another insight into why Quenneville lasted as long as he did. He is a character guy on a team who values that kind of those kinds of qualities. He is extremely well-liked for his personality, and is a genuine locker room guy as well. Quenneville’s hard-nosed, fast, attacking style made him standout. He even showed he wasn’t afraid to drop the gloves early in the preseason.