Wednesday, April 29, 2015

NJ Devils Prospect Update: 4/30/15

Today, two Devils prospects played, Ryan Kujawinski and John Quenneville.

Kujawinski, the 2013 Devils' 3rd round pick (73rd overall), played center on the second line for the North Bay Battalion (OHL), like he has for the entire season since being traded there. in their game against the Oshawa Generals. This was Game 4 of the OHL semi-final championship. The winner of the series plays the winner of the Erie-Sault Saint Marie series for the OHL championship (Bobby Orr trophy).

Kujawinski  did not find a way onto the scoresheet and was a -1 (he was on the ice for the game-winning goal by was a generic breakdown of coverage in the defensive zone by the entire team. Oshawa did a fantastic job causing all sorts of mayhem) for the night. He saw time on the 2nd powerplay unit and did a good job creating some chances. There was time where he tried to do too much by himself, which resulted in a turnover...which was mentioned by the announcer. He said something along the lines of "and Kujawinski tried to do too much on that play, the Battalion need team play to win this game and series..." This is something that Kujawinski will learn and adapt through. It's not necessarily a bad thing though. If anything, it shows that he does not go down willingly. This happened a decent amount during his time in Kingston if I remember correctly. Again, not a bad thing, since he has some tremendous skills and potential, but that's something the coach will sit him down and talk to him about. OHL doesn't publish shot totals per game by players, so I can't give a number of the shots he produced, unfortunately. With Oshawa winning Game 4, the series is now tied 2-2, with the next game on Friday at 7:00 PM EST is Oshawa.

Despite going scoreless tonight, Kujawinski still has 9 points in 13 playoff games so far.

John Quenneville, the 2014 Devils' 1st round pick (30th overall), also played second line center for his Brandon Wheat Kings as they played against the Calgary Hitmen in the WHL Eastern Conference Final. The winner of the series goes on to play the winner of the Kelowna-Portland series to determine the WHL champion.

Quenneville had a very strong game tonight, scoring 1 goal and 1 assist as the Wheat Kings trounced the Hitmen 8-2. What's more important the the pure numbers Quenneville put up tonight is the timing of them, more specifically his goal with a minute to go in the first period. This ignited the Wheat Kings for the second period, as they scored 5 goals in the frame. Quenneville saw playing time as center on the second-line, played on the second powerplay unit, played time during a 4-on-4 period, and played when Calgary pulled their goalie for the extra skater (6-on-5). Other than that it was a pretty quiet night for J. Quenneville, which is business as usual for him. It's really nice seeing him start to come into his own after a regular season he considered disappointing (47 points in 57 games). He now has 11 points in 11 playoff games, which is tremendous, especially since these are all high-pressure scenarios that he is excelling in. (Quenneville scored 13 points in 9 playoff games for Brandon last year for anybody wondering.)

With the win tonight, the Wheat Kings take a 3-1 series lead over the Hitmen. The next game is Friday at 7:30 PM EST in Brandon where the Wheat Kings hope to eliminate the Hitmen. Did I mention that John Quenneville was the WHL player of the week? Here's the video on the WHL website.

Keep updated on Devils prospects by following me on Twitter @DTJ_AHockeyBlog.

Thanks for reading!

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