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Bingo Bites: Big Crowds, JQ & Nick Lappin’s Impressive Early Season Marks

Great start for two top prospects as Binghamton fans embrace their new hockey team making new memories a sign of the times

Binghamton Devils’ players in celebration mode on a recent goal, as they have been an instant success early on for the home fans.
Photo provided by Alicia Strauch

It’s time for Bingo Bites, a semi-weekly feature that hits on what’s happening with the Binghamton Devils. Let’s get right to it.

Home Crowd Cooking

It’s been a different kind of vibe for the new team in Binghamton unlike ever before, as the BDevils have posted a respectable 3-1-1-1 record after six games. The players have not only enjoyed their new found identity amongst the community, but it’s been beneficial for the hardcore fans as well to partake in, with the great atmosphere that has embraced the Southern Tier the last couple of weeks.

If this hockey hotbed of ours needs any more proof, the first two games that took place at The Floyd were sell-outs. In my 40 plus years of hockey at this location dating back to the 70’s for any remote comparison, it would be the Broome Dusters and their long run of filling out the barn. But I don’t ever recall back-to-back sellouts to begin a season outside the Dusters, as nowadays it’s tickets that are sold which contributes to a sellout despite some empty seats.

The ole barn came alive like the old days with loud, new chants of “Lets Go Devils” that echoed throughout both games. I mean come on, this was awesome right? Reminiscence of the BSens’ 2011 playoff run? Perhaps so.

The Binghamton Devils currently sit in second place in the North Division behind first place Toronto Marlies (5-2-0-0) and ahead of third place Laval Rocket (4-2-1-0). There is one thing that is surely noticeable. Head coach Rick Kowalsky and assistant Sergei Brylin have a grip on this team and what has transpired on the ice, as well as off, with positive attitudes from the players, something that was an issue in the past for some BSens’ teams.

It’s only been a couple of games at home but two players I thought I would briefly touch base on are tied for the team lead with 6 points (4 goals and 2 assists, each) in their second full seasons in the pros for John Quenneville and Nick Lappin.

Early lines set by Head Coach Rick Kowalsky had Blandisi-Kearns-Lappin followed by Quenneville-Kennedy-Bastian as the top six forwards. Both are equally balanced out with each line scoring a combined 6 goals and 7 assists in 5 games with JQ and Lappin in the lead.

The Early Play of John Quenneville

Impressive. Former first rounder JQ has got what it takes to make the New Jersey line-up soon, meanwhile furthering his craft playing in Binghamton.

The 6’ 1” 186 lb. 21 year-old native of Edmonton, Alberta most likely would be playing for New Jersey if he was a right winger, as NJ is currently loaded on the left side. A victim of depth? Most likely, so enjoy BDevils’ fans on this dynamic, talented player while he’s here.

Second year pro John Quenneville (#17) carries the puck up ice during a recent game for the Binghamton Devils.
Photo provided by Alicia Strauch

I ran a post during the off season not seeing him play live including much at all last season, but over the brief encounters I have witnessed his play so far, the kid has shown some speed with making defense his primary goal while rounding out his overall game. Quenneville has some chemistry with vet Tim Kennedy at center, who has been a pleasant surprise and an upgrade over Carter Camper from last season for Albany.

Recently recorded his first professional hat trick in Laval Oct 13 after the Devils suffered a 8-7 OT loss to the Rocket

JQ has shown signs that he is a legit prospect with his unique ability to read the ice well while having a feel for the net and a quick release as evident of this goal 11 seconds in vs the Crunch last Friday in Syracuse.

Nick Lappin Has Sparked the Offense

You get Quenneville and the role he’s being groomed to be for, hopefully, a top six one day in the NHL. But every once in a while a nugget pops up that basically pans out to be a long shot to the bigs, perhaps a player best suited to fill in the bottom six role. Today’s nugget, is Nick Lappin.

Binghamton Devils’ forward Nick Lappin (#25) has been one of the team leaders with six points in five games.
Photo provided by Alicia Strauch

An undrafted pick by the New Jersey Devils, Lappin is at the tail end of a two-year entry-level deal signed on Mar, 2016 after four years at Brown University. The 6’ 1” 175 lb. native of Geneva, Illinois has become a team leader for the Binghamton Devils.

I like what I’ve seen out of him in the short time that has transpired as he has worn one of the A’s handed out for Binghamton, along with Blake Pietila and Brian Strait. Like JQ, Lappin has developed some chemistry of his own with soon to be named Captain Bracken Kearns in creating odd man rushes and offensive sequences that have panned out for the 24 year-old.

Also recorded his first professional hat trick the night after Quenneville’s in Laval with a 5-1 win over the Rocket on Oct 14.

Lappin split time in Albany last season in 35 games (14g, 15a) and played in 43 games for New Jersey (4g, 3a) since joining the organization as Lappin is a hustler and works hard that has led to his early season success.

Two key players to keep an eye on for the Devils’ Organization so far in Binghamton.

Note: I will be running player profile pieces throughout the season, plus each quarter there will be grades handed out with opinions from The Panel, a group of fans that have picked their own players to evaluate, including myself.

If you want stats, visit the AHL webpage as I am not one for you to rely on. If you want in-depth live player evaluations, albeit game re-caps or profiles, that is what I will hopefully provide to your liking. This piece is NOT a profile piece mind you, just touching base with a random update on the team for Bingo Bites.

Let’s Go Devils!