Friday, 1 August 2014

First Round Pressure Benefitting Quenneville

John Quenneville (right) and Jesse Gabrielle pose with some of the
participants in the Wheat Kings' Hockey School this week
  John Quenneville's first taste of professional hockey was a good one.

  The New Jersey Devils' first round pick attended New Jersey's Development Camp last month, his first real stint with the organization since the NHL Draft in June.

  "It's kind of cool to see the way they do things, their policies, their mentally as an organization," said Quenneville, who has back in Brandon this week to instruct at the Wheat Kings' Hockey School, "It's kind of cool to get an orientation into that and how they runs things, so."

  The develpment camp not only included the Devils' recent draft picks, but also some players still on entry-level contracts that had some NHL and AHL games under their belts.

  "When you look at what it takes to be an NHL player, it takes so much hard work and dedication to be a professional athlete," added Quenneville, "I think I learned a lot of things, not just on the ice as far as being a hockey player, but what it takes as far as a lifestyle and what it takes to make it and stay there."

  The 6-foot-1, 185 pound Quenneville had 25 goals and 58 points in 61 games with the Wheat Kings during the 2013-2014 regular season while adding a team-high 13 points in nine games during the Western Hockey League playoffs.

  There's a certain amount of pressure that comes along with being a first round NHL draft pick, but Quenneville feels that pressure is a good thing for him.

  "Being a first round pick means a lot to me.  I what a goal I had set for a long time for myself.  I think it's a boost of confidence," said Quenneville, "I think confidence is everything for a hockey player, not too high, but for it to help me a little bit and made me feel a little bit better about myself, feel better about my game.  I think it's going to help me a lot."

  Quennville will spend the next few weeks preparing for the Wheat Kings' training camp, which begins August 27th, and then is headed back to New Jersey for their rookie camp in mid-September.

Chaff...the Ottawa Senators have promoted former Wheat Kings' head coach Bob Lowes to the role of chief amateur scout.  Lowes joined the Sens as a part-time amateur scout in 2006 and became a full-time scout in 2008.  Lowes spent nine seasons coaching the Wheat Kings from 1992 to 2001, with his 363 coaching wins ranking second in club history...the Lethbridge Hurricanes and former assistant coach Brad Lukowich have settled wrongful dismissal claim out of court.

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