By Ryan McCracken on December 7, 2017.
Despite competing at the IIHF World Junior Summer Showcase and potting a pair of goals for Team WHL at the CHL Canada Russia Series, Medicine Hat Tigers defenceman David Quenneville will not compete for his country on Boxing Day.
The 19-year-old blueliner was left off Hockey Canada’s selection camp roster for the 2018 IIHF World Junior Championship on Wednesday. While he had hopes of following in the footsteps of his brother John —who competed with Canada at the 2016 championship — Quenneville says he’s choosing to frame the disappointment as an important learning tool.
“Obviously it’s really frustrating. It’s something Ihad really worked towards and it was a goal of mine, but this is just a really good learning opportunity for me,”said Quenneville. “I can get a lot better andI don’t think anyone is going to be feeling sorry for me anytime soon, so I’ve got to continue to work hard and get better.I’m going to enjoy my time and I’m not taking anything for granted here in Medicine Hat.”
The seventh-round New York Islanders draft pick sits fourth in scoring among WHL defenceman following Wednesday’s shootout win against the Prince Albert Raiders. With 10 goals and 24 assists, the Edmonton product is on pace for another career year with the Tabbies while sitting above four members of the selection camp roster in offensive production. Brandon Wheat Kings defenceman Kale Clague is the only member of the selection camp roster to score more points than Quenneville this season, while Cal Foote, Jake Bean, Dennis Cholowski and Josh Mahura all have at least seven fewer.
Quenneville wasn’t alone in being left off his country’s pre-tournament roster this week, as teammates Max Gerlach and Linus Nassen also went unnamed by USA and Sweden, respectively.
Gerlach competed with Team USA at the Summer Showcase in July, but an early facial injury placed a sizable obstacle in his path. While Gerlach had significant damage done to his teeth after being slashed in the face by Raiders defenceman Brayden Pachal, his Tigers exacted a bit of revenge with Wednesday’s shootout win. The 19-year-old Texan has 11 goals and 14 assists in 22 games this season
Nassen did not compete with Sweden at the Summer Showcase, but has been off to a strong start since joining up with the Tigers to start the season. The 19-year-old Norrtalje product has been a staple on Medicine Hat’s back end with 17 assists alongside Quenneville and scored his first career goal in overtime during his team’s 4-3 win over the Victoria Royals on Dec. 1.
The silver lining comes in the fact that the Tigers — who hold a six-point lead on the Central Division with a 17-11-1-0 record — take on eight divisional opponents over the next month, and Quenneville, Gerlach and Nassen are responsible for a combined 76 points this season.
“It’ll be big. We really need to get these points here, especially early in the New Year,” saidQuenneville. “The more we can get the better and we’re really looking forward to it.”
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