2023 Player Report Card: Jack Quinn
Rookie-no-more Jack Quinn has officially completed his first full year in the NHL.
Total Season Stats: 14G | 23A (37 PTS) and 126 total shots in 75 games played
Drafted: 2020, 1st Round, 8th Pick (8th Overall)
Contract Status: Signed three-year, entry-level contract through 2024-2025; $1.713 million AAV; will be RFA in 2025
At the beginning of the 2022-2023 season, fans were eager - and perhaps a little pressuring (rightfully so) - to see what the right winger and first-round pick from Ottawa would do as a full-time Sabre. Would he make plenty of mistakes? Of course. But could he help ignite the offense? Hopefully.
Like a few of Quinn’s equally young/inexperienced teammates, he had some ups and downs this season. He started strong early on with the “Kid Line,” got a bit lost in the middle, but then found his stride again during the latter half, especially after the All-Star break.
While there is no questioning his offensive talent and speed, there were some growing pains in Quinn’s transition from AHL to NHL. These struggles resulted in getting benched and scratched a few times, but rather than letting this set him back or affect him mentally, Quinn clearly reflected and learned how to move forward from his mistakes. This was especially evident when he had to step up in the absence of Alex Tuch following that dreaded foot injury as the Sabres found themselves desperately hunting for a playoff spot (thanks for nothing, Florida!). This change highlighted his adaptability as he shined with new linemates Jeff Skinner and Tage Thompson and tallied four points in his first two games on that top line.
A little taste of that can be found around the 5:15 mark when the 21-year-old scored against Columbus on February 28th:
Until the beginning of March, Quinn’s ice time was somewhat limited, but as he gained more time and became a reliable substitute for line changes and injuries, he clearly gained more confidence. One thing for sure is that, historically, Quinn needs time to adjust. He has played in various leagues besides the AHL and NHL (like the CCHL and OHL, respectively, in addition to representing Canada in the World Junior Championships in 2021) and even speaks about these adjustments and the need to keep gaining that confidence here:
It is also worth noting that this past season was the most games he had ever played in during any regular season in any league at 75 total. His previous most games played was 62 for the Ottawa 67's during the 2019-2020 season - his third year in the OHL. He also recorded an impressive 52 goals and 37 assists during that season, so it is safe to say he has great potential and it will be fun to see how he progresses over the next few years. It is quite obvious that he will find comfort in his upcoming sophomore year as he will “know what to expect” skating into a new season with a full one behind him (let's all cross our fingers that he will not fall victim to the sophomore slump).
Fans should be excited to see more from Quinn now that he has graduated from his transition year. I would be willing to guess he will exceed 20 goals next year (you heard it here first!) as long as he keeps moving in the right direction and does not get bit by the injury bug.
Season Grade: B