The Devils official website has been posting updates from the Western Hockey League’s playoffs and the progress of prospect (drafted 30th overall in the 2014 NHL Entry Draft) John Quenneville. What readers have been finding out is that he has been filling up the scoresheets as his Brandon Wheat Kings make their run to the WHL Eastern Conference Final.
As of Tuesday, April 28, when he was named the WHL Player of the Week, he had been tied for the Wheat Kings’ lead with 6 goals and 8 assists for 14 points through 12 playoff games played to that point. The Friday prior to being named Player of the Week, he had five points, including two goals as the Wheat Kings defeated the Calgary Hitmen in Game 1 of the Eastern Conference Final, 9-4. Those five points matched a career high for Quenneville.
In Game 4 of the same series, an 8-3 win by Brandon, Quenneville victimized the Hitmen for two points (a goal and an assist). As of today (April 30), the Wheat Kings are one win from advancing to the WHL Finals to face either the Kelowna Rockets or the Portland Winterhawks. Kelowna and Portland are currently tied in their series at two games each. The winner of that would then move on to the Memorial Cup tournament, to crown Canada’s Major Junior national champion.
According to the press release on the Devils’ site, Brandon has outscored Calgary 21-11 in the series. Quenneville has eight points (4 goals and 4 assists) through four games in the Conference Finals and is now leading the team with 17 points through 14 games.
As John Quenneville’s Brandon Wheat Kings do battle in the WHL, the Devils also have a prospect in the Ontario Hockey League who is also looking to advance to the Memorial Cup. Ryan Kujawinski (drafted 73rd overall in the 2013 NHL Entry Draft) and his North Bay Battalion are tied with the Oshawa Generals 2-2 in the OHL’s Eastern Conference Final. North Bay took the lead with a win on Tuesday (April 28) when Kujawinski scored at 10:28 of overtime of Game 3 to give the Battalion a 2-1 win. Oshawa tied the series on Wednesday. North Bay is looking to move on to take on the winner of the Sault Ste. Marie Greyhounds and Connor McDavid’s Erie Otters series, in which Erie leads 3 games to 1.
Kujawinski has six goals this playoff, including two overtime winners (his other one came in double overtime of Game 4 in the Semifinals against fellow Devils prospect Joseph Blandisi’s Barrie Colts. According to the Devils site, Kujawinski has scored his six goals in three different ways: twice on the power play, twice shorthanded, and two times at even strength.
Devils prospects are making their mark on the Canadian Hockey League playoffs. Hopefully this will translate down the line and they will be able to help the big club win some games.