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Jack Quinn: 2020 NHL Draft Profile: A Tantalizing, Hard-Working Natural Goal Scorer

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As one of the oldest players in the draft among those in their first year of eligibility, Jack Quinn is quite an attractive option for a mid-first round selection following his offensive explosion this season.

OHL: JAN 26 Saginaw Spirit at Ottawa 67’s
He got to go through the entire catalogue of celebration choices this season.
Photo by Richard A. Whittaker/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images

Who is Jack Quinn?: Jack Quinn plays forward for the Ottawa 67s, so he would make quick company in the Devils organization. He’s an offensively-focused player, having improved from just one point in eight appearances for Ottawa in 2017-18 (he scored 46 points in 49 games in the CCHL the same season) to 12 goals and 20 assists in 61 games in 2018-19, and had 52 goals and 37 assists in 62 games this season. Here are his full statistics from Elite-Propsects:

Elite-Prospects

His height depends on where you look - on Elite-Prospects it is 5’11”, and on HockeyDB and the OHL site it is 6’1”. Therefore, I’m going to split the difference and say he’s probably 6’0” tall. His weight is 176 pounds according to Elite Prospects and 179 pounds according to the OHL site and HockeyDB. So, by draft day I’d expect his weight to be around 180 pounds. He does not bring size to the team, but is not exactly too small to play in the NHL.

Having read his Athletic ($) profile, I was taken aback by this line, in response to why he didn’t play AAA hockey and went to the CCHL before the OHL:

“I never worked out or anything,” he said, bluntly. “I never trained until my 15 or 16-year-old year.”

In regards to that: what? Two or three years of training and he goes from the CCHL to 52 goals in the OHL? If he continues to work as hard as he has the past couple seasons, he could be a special player. It would be a shame to overlook him because of what would probably be considered a lesser background before juniors.

Where is Jack Quinn Ranked?: Quinn has been something of a riser this season, with his draft projection going from the general top rounds to a legitimate first-round prospect. His recent rankings are as follows:

Ranked #11 by HOCKEYPROSPECT.COM

Ranked #23 by FUTURE CONSIDERATIONS

Ranked #10 by ISS HOCKEY

Ranked #16 by MCKEEN’S HOCKEY

Ranked #28 by ELITEPROSPECTS.COM

With Vancouver just outside the playoff picture right now thanks to NHL tiebreaking rules, as Nashville has 28 to their 27 regulation wins, the Devils only have two picks in the first round this season. The condition on the Nolan Foote trade was:

if Vancouver fails to qualify for the 2020 NHL playoffs, New Jersey shall then receive Vancouver’s first-round selection in the 2021 NHL Entry Draft instead of a first-round selection in the 2020 NHL Entry Draft.

Now, we don’t know how the end-year standings will be made to look when or if play resumes. For all we know, Vancouver could end up playing a couple more regular season games since they – at the very least – have two games on hand on Winnipeg with two fewer points, and one game on hand on Calgary with one fewer point. But, who knows? The point is – if the Devils have three first round picks, there’s a better chance that Jack Quinn could fall to their hands. I happen to think that Quinn will go in the early first round, but he might not be the best choice when the Arizona pick is to be made (depending on where the lottery has it end up). If the Devils have the Vancouver pick, though, he may be the BPA if he’s still around then.

What Others Say about Jack Quinn:

Back in August 2019, Brock Otten had this to say about him at OHL Prospects:

Quinn is a very talented offensive playmaker who possesses dynamic puck skill and creativity. He can prolong possession in the offensive end because he keeps the puck on a string and is able to maneuver in and out of traffic, keeping defenders off balance. Quinn also has good vision and identifies passing lanes well, anticipating where his linemates will be. The motor is strong here, but his skating would be classified as average right now. Can have trouble creating the space he needs to in order to drive the play consistently. And as a player under 6’0 and slight of build, he can have trouble being an effective player in the middle of the ice. Because the hands and vision are quite good, and because he is going to get an increased role this year, he could really explode offensively. But a lot of that will be dependent on whether he was able to become a little more explosive and strong on his skates this summer.

Otten gave an updated view for Quinn on January 21 this year, having been prophetic with the “he could really explode offensively” line. He wrote this for McKeen’s Hockey’s mid-season mock draft:

Quinn has been rocketing up draft lists in recent months because of his scoring surge with one of the top teams in the CHL, the Ottawa 67s. A late 2001-born, Quinn has improved significantly this year thanks to gains in his skating and strength on the puck. While his ticket to the league may be his shot and scoring ability, Quinn is an underrated two-way player who competes hard and would fit in well with the dynamic the Golden Knights have created on the ice.

Personally, I think that this is a sign of serious improvement that makes Quinn much more appealing for a pick in the mid-first round. Having been described as an “average” skater and “slight of build” in August, and then being said to have “gains in his skating and strength on the puck” by the same person seems a good indication to me. However, as one of the older players in the draft, I would hope he seemed stronger on the puck in juniors this season.

Moving on to another opinion, here was the take of Dylan Galloway just prior to the CHL Top Prospects game in January (where he ended up Team Red’s player of the game), giving his opinion to Aaron Vickers of Future Considerations:

“Quinn is enjoying a nice rise in the draft rankings through the first half of the season,” Future Considerations head Eastern scout Dylan Galloway said. “As a highly intelligent and well rounded player, Quinn is excellent at creating plays and making space for himself and his teammates. He likes to skate with the puck and is constantly surveying the ice looking for the next play.”

After the season was forced to end, this was the opinion from of Cam Robinson of Dobber Prospects:

It’s not too often we see a draft-eligible OHLer pop 50 goals. Quinn did it despite his season-ending abruptly thanks to Covid-19. He accomplished this while playing on a stacked 67s squad, but played his 5v5 minutes away from Rossi. He’s nearly as old as you can be for the class, but his release is legit.

For reference, Marco Rossi (who should go in the top ten this year) had 81 assists for the Ottawa 67s this season – so it is important to note that Quinn’s 52 goals was not the direct product of that. Anyways, finally – here’s a look at what Mike Morreale had to say for NHL.com on March 20:

Scouts have taken notice after a solid summer of training. He’s versatile enough to play all three forward positions and has the offensive instincts to execute plays. He was second in the OHL with 52 goals and tied for eighth with 89 points in 62 games.

There’s a repeating pattern here that I like quite a bit in Jack Quinn - he had flaws in his game coming into his draft year, but corrected those flaws. In just his second full OHL season, he made a huge jump in points that is very enticing but likely hard to replicate. He may be a player that adjusts well - or he may be someone who had some physical maturation and had an easier time playing against the young competition.

Video Highlights: This video is a compilation of Quinn’s plays with Ottawa this season. It’s hard to judge a player just off of these highlights, but there’s not a lot off video other than his goals and some of his assists.

There is a distinct positive that I can see in this video. While some of his goals seem the product of him being able to take advantage of the looser, undeveloped physicality of junior defenses, Quinn gets himself into great position for deflections, rebounds, and passing plays between him and his teammates. While some of the slipping-between-defensemen plays aren’t as replicatable in the NHL, his release is legit - and he knows how to use it to make the defense over-focus on him. His power play assist from his strong side wing at 3:52 in the video was a particularly nice fake shot, and his turnaround goal on the following highlight goes to show the reason that defenses respect his shot. He needs very little time to shoot, and can make a lot of whatever space he gets.

Where Would Quinn Fit?: While draft profiles regard him as an all-position option at forward, I would strictly focus his development on his play as a winger. He would play well with a center that can crash the net for his rebounds, and I would rather focus on attaining his offensive ceiling than try to have him learn the defensive responsibility of being an NHL center. He seems to be a skater focused on economy of movement away from the puck rather than complex maneuvers with the puck in order to get the play he wants - and that bodes well for a team that is built too much on the individual efforts of a few players.

Given his shot and tenacity, I would see Jack Quinn as a natural replacement for Kyle Palmieri as the Devils’ top scorer ages into his 30s. Given his quick development in the OHL, I do not think it is out of the realm of possibility that the right team would give Quinn an NHL look in his first season, but he is probably someone that should be in a league better than juniors but lesser than the NHL. Though, as someone who was born just under a week too late to be eligible for the 2019 draft, he could force the hand of whomever drafts him to get him out of juniors with a good training camp performance (if there is training camp).

I look at it this way - the Devils have a lot of playmakers on the forward end who aren’t driven enough to score goals or don’t have the shot to make use of opportunities. Players like Pavel Zacha and Jesper Bratt fall into the former category, while Jack Hughes falls into the latter. Jack Quinn is a solid option to completely change the look of the winger prospect pool that the Devils have. Having also watched Miles Wood play on the top line towards the end of this season, I think the Devils need to start looking for more positionally sound forwards to complement the likes of Nico Hischier and Jack Hughes. Quinn puts himself in places where he can score, and he doesn’t make the unnecessary play - he just shoots when given the opportunity.

As a finishing thought, the OHL coaches do a yearly poll where they rank players in general categories divided into the two conferences. Jack Quinn made top three appearances on three criteria in the coaches poll in 2020. In Most Improved Player, he received 29 of a possible 45 points for first place. In Most Dangerous in Goal Area, he received 21 points for third place. For Best Shot, he received 18 points for third place. He might not be Kaliyev, but he’s not too far behind...and when you look at how quick he’s improving...

I would think about it with the Arizona pick, and definitely pull the trigger if the Devils have the Vancouver pick and he falls to there. His improvements in skating bode well for an adjustment to professional hockey, as he doesn’t seem the type of player that would turn out to only bring his shot to the table.

Your Thoughts: What do you think about Jack Quinn as an option? Do you think he would be a good choice? Do you think he should play another season in juniors, or do you think his growth trajectory places him as too good for the league? Do you think he would have too hard a time adjusting to NHL defensive coverage? If he were picked by the Devils, which center would you most want to see him play with? Leave your thoughts in the comments below.