The second installment of “The Man Behind the Mask” takes a look at the road to the National Hockey League for Kings goaltender Jonathan Quick. We hope you enjoy this weekly installment only on NHL Hot Stove.
Jonathan Quick rose quickly through the ranks on his road to the National Hockey League. Born in Hamden, Connecticut on January 21st, 1986, this east coast native now shoulders the load for the youngest team in the League.
Selected in the third round (72nd overall) in the 2005 NHL Entry Draft, Quick emerged as one of the leagues young, up-and-coming netminders in the game today. So much so that Team USA selected the 23-year-old with hopes of him getting his feet wet in international competition.
His journey began on his high school team in Hamden where they named him to the New Haven Register All-Area Ice Hockey team. He then starred in the famed Avon Old Farms hockey, similar to another famous USA Hockey Hall of Famer, Brian Leetch.
While at Old Farms, Quick led the team to two straight New England Prep Championships holding the all time New England prep school record for most shutouts in a season (9) during his senior year. His stay there showed signs of things to come.
Soon after, Quick joined The University of Massachusetts-Amherst where he eventually led the team to their first ever NCAA Men’s Ice Hockey Championship.
In 2007-08 Quick’s NHL realization accelerated faster than the surname that he carries. He began the year in the ECHL with the Reading Royals where he showed his abilities. After 38 games, Quick took the next step graduating to the Manchester Monarchs of the AHL.
Despite the youngsters emergence through the organization, the Kings thought of Quick as a contingency plan. The team took Jonathan Bernier with their first pick in the 2006 NHL Entry Draft and immediately labeled him as the goalie of the future. However, the slow development of their future tender paved the way for Quicker to make a name for himself in the organization.
Judging by what we have seen so far, Quick remains determined to be not only the present goalie in Los Angeles, but their future.
On December 6th, 2007 Quick played his first ever NHL game. The Kings made it comfortable scoring an explosive eight goals against the Buffalo Sabres. A rookies dream: cruise-control en route to victory. An easy win like that is never a bad way to start your career.
The Kings and Quick grew together last season as they took a step in the right direction, even though they only managed a paltry 79 points. The Kings missed the playoffs, but Quick shined posting a 21-18-2 record with a 2.55 GAA and a .911 SV%.
Terry Murray and company knew coming into this season Quick controlled the number one role. Something he currently still holds.
The Kings maintain a healthy future with Quick establishing himself and Bernier developing nicely at the AHL level. I see no problem in carrying several NHL caliber goalies. Bernier now sports the contingency plan role, but the team holds options should one loses confidence. At this point the Kings hold a trading chip in both netminders.
In our current season this young Kings team leapt from playoff hopeful to playoff contender thanks to the solid play of this Olympian. With the likes of Anze Kopitar, Ryan Smyth, Dustin Brown, Drew Doughty, and a solid core behind them, this club seems destined for great things.
While you keep your eye on this team and note their climb to the top of the Western Conference standings, do not disregard the man between the pipes. The story written by Jonathan Quick should be a great one as hard work and a little bit of luck paved his way to something every kid dreams of, a professional career.
NHLHS Senior Writer