The Fourth Period: Not A Quick Journey - UMass Athletics

The Fourth Period: Not A Quick Journey

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Check out this feature on former Minuteman Jonathan Quick from The Fourth Period Magazine:

Next time you're at a casino, here's a reason to play the long shot and put a few dollars down on 32 on the roulette wheel.

Emerging from the nuclear winter that was the NHL lockout, the league conducted their first Entry Draft a few weeks after returning to normalcy in Canada's national capital of Ottawa, Ontario.

Unlike the usual custom of showcasing the restocking of the NHL shelves, the draft was conducted out of the public's purview at the Westin Hotel; ironically the same venue where an international media gathering interviewed some of the same selections six and a half years later about their All Star weekend experience.

Though 2005 was the year Sidney Crosby matriculated to the NHL, other than his pre-determined selection there was zero fanfare that accompanied other first round selections like Bobby Ryan and Anze Kopitar. The latter was likely the finest selection of then-GM Dave Taylor's career, a wunderkind out of Slovenia, not Slovakia or Czechoslovakia.

Kopitar had the benefit of playing two seasons in the Swedish Elite League and although he came from a small country without a hockey legacy, he arrived on the Pacific shores already a man and showed it in his first rookie and then NHL training camp. Anze never spent a day in the North American minor leagues and has become a two time All Star and a vital cog in the Kings' championship hopes.

When one scrolls down the list of Los Angeles selections post-Kopitar that year, the record wasn't pretty. There's T.J. Fast and Dany Roussin, best known for scoring a bushel full of goals on Crosby's line for the Rimouski Quebec junior major team. Roussin's failure at the highest level of hockey is a minor footnote to number 87's greatness and furthers the argument that I could pot double digit markers on if placed on his flank.

With his fourth pick in the third round, Taylor selected a player that shows although the Kings Hall of Famer may have had challenges building an organization, his eye for talent is among the keenest in the game.

At the time, Jonathan Quick was a record setting prep goaltender for Old Avon Farms School in his native Connecticut. His record was a sterling 47-3 over two seasons with his senior season being the finest. He fashioned nine shutouts in combination with a 1.14 goals-against-average and .956 save percentage with the goose egg total still a New England prep record.

Quick declined to go the professional route, preferring to enroll at the University of Massachusetts at Amherst, at last check not one of the Boston area powerhouses among NCAA's sextet. Continuing the credo of low fanfare, high performance, Quick led the Minutemen to their first NCAA Ice Hockey Championship appearance in 2006 in his sophomore season. His first NCAA tournament appearance was a shutout victory over Clarkson, a 33 save affair and while a championship was too daunting a task given the lack of top talent on the team, Quick departed Amherst as the holder of numerous records that still stand.

While those numbers were impressive, to say that his future professional employers were impressed would be a bigger stretch than one of Quick's own acrobatic saves. Read the entire feature here.

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