Jack Quinn will make his NHL debut for the Buffalo Sabers when they host the Tampa Bay Lightning on Tuesday (19:00 ET; SNE, SNO, TVAS, MSG-B, BSSUN, ESPN +, NHL LIVE).
The striker was No. 8 in the 2020 NHL Draft after scoring 52 goals and 89 points in 62 games with Ottawa in the Ontario Hockey League in 2019-20.
“It’s pretty cool, it’s very exciting,” Quinn said. “I’m just looking forward to tomorrow.”
Quinn was recalled from Rochester in the American Hockey League on Monday, where he has scored 26 points (12 goals, 14 assists) in 20 games and is number two among AHL rookies in goals and points.
He made his professional debut with Rochester last season, scoring nine points (two goals, seven assists) in 15 AHL games.
“I’m excited on his behalf because he’s done so well in the American Hockey League that there are a lot of things in the American Hockey League that are just easy for him now, after he gained experience a year ago and built on on it, “Sabers coach Don. said Granato. “And I think he’s ready for this next new challenge, the timing is right for him. Again, he’s producing at a speed he certainly was not a year ago, and it’s gotten a lot easier for him there. “It’s still work for him, but it’s gotten a lot easier. His statistics prove that, of course.”
While disappointed when he was awarded the AHL late in training camp, Quinn said he knew it was an opportunity to show what he can do.
“I think no matter what the statistics show, there are always parts of your game that you can keep working on,” he said. “I think the statistics are a good reflection of how you play or where you are in that league and what kind of player you are. But no matter what they are, there are always different points in your game that you can attack, so just keep finding them and keep improving them, no matter how many points I get or don’t get. “
Granato said he is impressed with the maturity the 20-year-old has shown.
“He just has that feeling, and that’s why he’s been able to accelerate his progress and development,” Granato said. “You come to professional hockey and you’ve never experienced it, but he can internalize it faster and faster to apply and adapt, and that’s what you’ve seen in [AHL]. “He has a maturity of his own that is quite special from the players I’ve seen at all ages.”
Quinn scored two points (one goal, one assist) in three games after rejoining Rochester on January 5 after missing nine games when he recovered from mononucleosis.
He makes his NHL debut against elite competitions. The Lightning is a draw with the Florida Panthers for first place in the NHL and has won the Stanley Cup the past two seasons.
“It’s a bonus for me for him to play on a top team,” Granato said. “We can talk about it, go through movies with him, but to immerse yourself in the experience of it is how you get experience and it becomes hindsight. So you go into these situations without hindsight until you actually review them. So for him to get into a fight like this is great. “
Quinn skated on line with Dylan Cozens and Vinnie Hinostroza on training Monday. Quinn and Cozens played together during the preseason, and when they helped Canada finish second at the IIHF World Junior Championship in 2021.
“It’s great,” Quinn said of playing with Cozens. “Of course we’re pretty good friends and have played together before, some matches in camp this year, World Juniors a bit, so there’s just some chemistry that makes it a lot easier.”
Cozens said: “I’m excited about him. It was clear it was hard when all the other guys were called he was sick. I know he was dying to be up here so it’s exciting to see, and I’m glad he’s up here and given that chance. “