Edmonton Oilers Draft Targets: David Quenneville

Jun 26, 2015; Sunrise, FL, USA; A general view of the podium on stage before the first round of the 2015 NHL Draft at BB&T Center. Mandatory Credit: Steve Mitchell-USA TODAY Sports
Jun 26, 2015; Sunrise, FL, USA; A general view of the podium on stage before the first round of the 2015 NHL Draft at BB&T Center. Mandatory Credit: Steve Mitchell-USA TODAY Sports /

As the Edmonton Oilers turn their sights towards the offseason, this upcoming draft is a pivotal one for the organization. In last year’s draft, Peter Chiarelli traded away numerous draft picks bringing in starting goalie Cam Talbot, and defensive prospect Griffin Reinhart. This year however the Edmonton Oilers would be wise to stock up on picks and start to build up, what is currently a depleted depth chart.

Most of the attention, understandably so, is on the first round of the draft. However for Edmonton, it has always been the later rounds that have proved troublesome. As it stands now the Oilers have nine picks in the 2016 draft, as seen below:

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  1. No. 4 overall
  2. No. 32 overall
  3. No. 62 overall
  4. No. 85 overall (Florida)
  5. No. 87 overall (Pittsburgh)
  6. No. 122 overall
  7. No. 148 overall (St. Louis)
  8. No. 152 overall
  9. No. 182 overall

Can the Oilers find high-end prospects in the later rounds like they did last off-season with Ethan Bear and Ziyat Paigin?

To start this series, which will have multiple editions leading up to the draft, we will take a close look at Medicine Hat Tigers defenseman David Quenneville.

His Draft Year

This year for Medicine Hat, Quenneville racked up 55 points (14G, 41A) in 64 games, for the non-playoff bound team. That total was good enough for 10th in the WHL among defenseman, and second only to potential top-15 pick Jake Bean, amongst the draft eligibles.

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Recently Quenneville was ranked 144th among NA skaters by Central Scouting, which should tell you that he’s undersized, based on the mismatch between his offensive output, and his draft ranking. Coming in at only 5-foot-8 and 183 pounds, size has some scouts worried.

Where Quenneville really impressed was for Canada at this year’s U18 tournament. For many this was th first chance to see this player live, and he did not disappoint, putting up boxcars of 5-3-8, in 7 games, good for second amongst defensemen in the tournament (Top defenseman in Goals).

Talent Analysis

David has already seen his two older brothers, John and Peter, drafted before him. According to some, David is the most talented of the three and his numbers certainly support that claim (John went 30th overall in the 2014 draft, while posting similar numbers in his draft eligible year, as a forward).

According to Mark Edwards of hockeyprospect.com, in an interview on TSN radio, Quenneville, although by no means a poor skater, does not excel in this area like similar undersized prospect, Victor Mete. He then went on to compliment Quenneville’s big shot from the point and passing ability.

This scouting report gells well with what others are saying about him, raving over his big shot, and offensive ability, as well as his grittiness for such a small player.

One negative trend found at the U18’s by Chris Dilks, is Quenneville’s tendency to get into trouble when going for a big hit. Patience and defensive positioning, are much easier to teach, than high-end offensive instincts, so this should not discourage the Oilers from considering this kid.

Why the Oilers Should be Interested

Quenneville is an Edmonton native, who has excelled at every level he has played. The former 10th overall selection in the 2013 WHL draft, oozes with skill and may very well be underrated by many due to his size. Quenneville actually put up stronger draft year numbers than undersized defenseman, and fellow Edmontonian Jared Spurgeon, and Quenneville plays a heavier, grittier game.

Quenneville also has that ever so elusive right shot, and a big blast from the point, both of which the Oilers lack in their depth chart. Possibly a target for the 87th or 122nd picks in this years draft, Quenneville could be a steal. Many players with less talent rank higher than him, and for all the talk of the big bad western conference, why has 5’9” Jared Spurgeon shown no signs of not being able to handle his competition.

Next: Stats Show Todd McLellan an Outstanding Coach

The Edmonton Oilers have a history of drafting big defenseman who lack the skills to ever play at the NHL level. Maybe it’s time to try something a little different and take a risk on David Quenneville.