New Jersey Devils: John Quenneville Deserves His Demotion

(Photo by Bruce Bennett/Getty Images)
(Photo by Bruce Bennett/Getty Images) /

The New Jersey Devils announced right before the Christmas break they were sending former first-round pick John Quenneville back to the minors. After his latest call up showed nothing, this wasn’t a surprise.

John Quenneville no longer has the benefit of the doubt. The New Jersey Devils first-round pick in 2014 has now been called up five different times from the minors, yet hasn’t done nearly enough to make anything stick.

His latest chance was his best chance, and for lack of a better term he blew it. He was given six games to show that he finally showed he had a finishing ability. In those six games, he took five shots. I won’t even harp on the fact that he hasn’t scored a goal so far this season, because a lot of that has to do with luck, but the fact that he didn’t get a shot shows a couple really bad things. For one, he doesn’t have confidence in the shot, and two he’s not getting to areas where he should take shots. We expect more after what we saw him doing for the Binghamton Devils.

It honestly doesn’t make much sense. Quenneville has 19 points in 19 games in the AHL. He’s a scoring machine, and is the best forward on the B-Devils whenever he’s there. It makes Devils fans salivate for him to get a call up, but then he gets the chance and disappears.

Quenneville might be a quadriple-A player. It comes from a baseball term where a player is too good for the minors but not good enough for the big show. He has 99 points in the AHL in 120 games. In the NHL, he has just four points in 25 games. That’s a stark contrast for a player who made the team out of training camp.

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It’s not time to quit on Quenneville, especially since he isn’t going to even get the return he would have in 2015. His value is low, so it makes more sense for the Devils to see this out rather than give him away.

The fact remains that Quenneville has not shown enough to earn an NHL spot. 10 days ago I said the Devils needed to keep Quenneville on the roster all season. I am big enough to say that I was completely wrong. He needed to get sent back down to Binghamton. The big question remains what will cause him to finally break through? Will he need another year playing in the Prospect Challenge? Is he bound to play in the AHL forever?

There are plenty of questions, but we don’t need to answer them now. For now, let’s hope he can lead the B-Devils to a surprise playoff berth. If he can turn around Binghamton’s season to the point they make a playoff push, it could be the confidence boost he needs to propel his career. Right now, confidence is low in Kid Q.