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Devils sign 2014 top pick Quenneville to entry contract

by Mike G. Morreale

NEWARK, N.J. -- Center John Quenneville, a first-round selection at the 2014 NHL Draft, signed a three-year, entry-level contract with the New Jersey Devils on Monday, the Devils announced.

Terms of the deal were not disclosed.

Quenneville, 19, who has played three seasons with the Brandon Wheat Kings in the Western Hockey League, had 17 goals and 47 points in 57 regular-season games last season. He scored 10 goals and had 19 points in 19 WHL playoff games to help the Wheat Kings reach the WHL final, which it lost in four straight games to the Kelowna Rockets.

Quenneville is at Devils development camp this week at AmeriHealth Pavilion. He was all smiles when asked about signing his first professional contract.

"It feels great," Quenneville said. "It's the next step for me as a player. I'm a pro hockey player now, and that makes me feel confident about myself and my abilities. Now, it's working on development and working to try and play here one day, so that's what I'm trying to do; that's the next step.

"Signing is kind of something I've worked towards and something I've wanted for some time, and now that I've done that, it's working toward making the team."

Devils coach John Hynes likes what he sees in Quenneville, who New Jersey drafted with the 30th pick in 2014.

"One of the things about John, and prior to even working with him [at development camp], was his reputation as a person, which was exceptional when I first got here," Hynes said. "We do bios on the guys before they come in, and that was something that was really brought to my attention with him. I see that already, and we've only been together for a day-and-a-half.

"He has the attributes you want to have with a young prospect with a talent to be able to develop, and on the ice you can see he's got good hands, vision and some speed. I think the combination of the human being and the player are pretty exciting."

Quenneville, a second cousin of Chicago Blackhawks coach Joel Quenneville, has 50 goals and 124 points in 165 regular-season games in the WHL, and 15 goals and 32 points in 28 playoff games.

He said playing a third season in Brandon gave him a huge boost of confidence.

"It was more of a learning year than any other I've had," Quenneville said. "I think I experienced some extreme lows and extreme highs and I'm really learning to balance myself and be a consistent player. I think I showed that later in the season and during the playoffs. It gave me a chance to learn and improve as a player and person, move forward from those moments, and build off that."


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