Hockey bloodlines run deep for Medicine Hat Tigers’ David Quenneville: Making The Jump


There’s a new Quenneville in town. Medicine Hat Tigers prized pick David Quenneville is set to follow in the footsteps of his brothers, New Jersey Devils first-rounder John Quenneville and Columbus Blue Jackets prospect Peter Quenneville, by taking his talents to the Western Hockey League.

There was speculation that the 16-year-old rearguard may try the NCAA route just as his brother Peter did before he joined the Brandon Wheat Kings last year as a 19-year-old. But when evaluating his options, he decided he didn’t want to pass up the opportunity to play for the esteemed Tigers in his home province.

“I think the NCAA is a great league and program, but I thought the WHL was my best option,” says the Edmonton, Alta., native, whom the Tigers selected 10th overall in the 2013 WHL bantam draft. “My brother Peter played in the NCAA and left for Brandon (after five NCAA games), so I got to know about both leagues from him. The WHL is also the heart of Western Canada and a growing league, so it’s a hard league to pass on.”

Having two talented hockey players for brothers has helped Quenneville’s development. The competitive nature in his family pushed him to try to keep up with his brothers on the ice and at times in the ring.

“We’re a very competitive family. We’ve had a lot of competitive games on outdoor rinks,” says Quenneville. “It absolutely has worked to my benefit because we all push each other. (Wheat Kings forward) John and I have had a lot of good fights and that pushed me to want to get stronger and tougher. But having competitive brothers has pushed me on everything like my shot and skating because we’re competitive and want to have the edge on each other.”

Quenneville’s hockey bloodlines run deeper than his older brothers. He’s the cousin of Boston Bruins blueliner Johnny Boychuk and Chicago Blackhawks head coach Joel Quenneville. This has undoubtedly worked to his benefit as he has received quality advice from them.

“It’s cool to have people in my family in the NHL,” he says. “I haven’t talked with Joel lately, but I worked out with Johnny this summer. To get to see how hard he works helps me better understand the work ethic it takes to play at that level. He’s also a great mentor and has given me some good tips.”

The 5-foot-8, 180-pound Quenneville spent this past year playing for the SSAC ‘AAA’ Athletics in the Alberta Midget Hockey League. While potting 11 goals and 27 points in 32 games, he worked vigorously to improve his skating ability in preparation for his major junior jump.

“Last year went pretty well for my team in general and for me,” says Qunneville, who suited up in one regular-season game for the Tigers last year as an underage. “I made improvements throughout the year and thought my skating in particular improved. You have to be a good skater to keep up with players in the WHL, so I dialed into that and improved that part of my game.”

1. Do you have a favourite NHL player?

“I have to go with (Los Angeles Kings defenceman) Drew Doughty. He’s such a good defenceman that can dominate offensively and defensively. He also plays a 200-foot game and never quits out there.”

2. Do you have a favourite NHL team?

“I’d say the Chicago Blackhawks because of their exciting style of play. I also love watching Patrick Kane and Jonathan Toews.”

3. Is there a player that you’re looking forward to playing against in the WHL?

“There are a lot of guys I’m looking forward to playing against. My brother John in Brandon, but also a lot of my friends like (Vancouver Giants forward) Tyler Benson, (Brandon Wheat Kings rookies) Kale Clague and Nolan Patrick and (Regina Pats forward) Sam Steel.”

4. If you weren’t entrenched in hockey, what other sport would you pursue?

“I’d probably go into baseball. My brother Peter was a really good ball player before and I’ve always liked the game.”

5. What’s your favourite movie and TV show?

Suits is my favourite TV show because it’s an unreal show. Step Brothers has to be my favourite movie because it’s the best movie of all time.”

Kelly Friesen is a Buzzing the Net columnist for Yahoo! Sports. Follow him on Twitter @KellyFriesen