Jonathan Quick, drafted in the third round of the 2005 entry draft by Los Angeles, left the University of Massachusetts Amherst after two years to pursue his pro career.
Signed by Los Angeles in the spring, this fall he was assigned to ECHL affiliate Reading Royals. With Reading, Quick is 3-3 with a .927 save percentage and a 2.18 goals against average, already putting up similarly solid numbers as he did last year at UMass.
Quick isn’t satisfied yet though. "I think I can play better than what I’ve put forward so far this season, but I’m also not disappointed in the way I’ve played," he said. "A couple things here and there I need to work on."
Hockey’s Future talked to the surprisingly cheerful 21-year-old following a chippy 5-1 loss to the Gwinnett Gladiators in which he he saw 33 shots.
A few days earlier, he became the second goaltender in ECHL history to record his first win, first shutout and score his first goal in the same game.
HF: You scored a goal last week, that’s pretty exciting.
JQ: Yeah, it was a funny play. They pulled the goalie because we were up late in the game. There was a guy behind [our] net, he tried to pass and it tipped off my stick and just went all the way down. A goal’s a goal, I’ll take it.
HF: That’s actually the second goal you scored in this calendar year, was it a similar play?
JQ: Last time it was in the second period and they were on a delayed penalty, so the goalie came off to get the extra guy on. It was kind of similar, I was the last person to touch it. It went into the corner and their guy tried to pass to the defense and it went all the way down and went in. I’m getting goals all over the place (laughing).
HF: You’re becoming "high-scoring"now.
JQ: Yeah, yeah, yeah.
HF: Does this enable you to tell guys on the team that you’re outscoring them?
JQ: I don’t like to do that (laughing). I mean if they have less than me as it is, I’m sure they feel bad about it so I don’t wanna…it’ll come when it comes.
HF: So how does this league differ from college?
JQ: Whew, we’re only two weeks in and we’re already seven games deep. I think that’s the biggest difference so far, the amount of games. Especially with the road schedule that we have early in the season. It’s a little more physically demanding. Guys are a little older, a little tougher, but it’s a lot of fun, so I’m enjoying it.
HF: Is it what you expected?
JQ: Um, for the most part. It’s my first time through so I obviously didn’t know everything about what’s going on. But I expected a lot of games and for the most part hockey’s hockey.
HF: How did you prepare differently this summer knowing you were going to play so many more games?
JQ: The training was a little bit different. My workouts were a little bit longer, especially at the beginning because I had a shoulder surgery so I wasn’t able to skate for a little while. I was able to get more time in the weight room. As far as on-ice, you’ve just got to stop the puck so I’ve just been doing that all summer.
HF: What was the surgery for?
JQ: My labrum was torn so I had that sewn up.
HF: Which shoulder was it?
JQ: My left.
HF: What did the Kings tell you when they sent you here, that they just want you to play a lot of games?
JQ: Yeah, I’m sure that’s what they want all their goalies to do – just try to get as much time as possible. The more games you play, the more experience you pick up, and down the road that will help.
HF: Were you disappointed to get sent down here, because your mask is all Monarchs.
JQ: Well, obviously you want to play at the highest level possible. You shoot for LA, and when that doesn’t work out, you shoot for Manchester, and if that doesn’t work out, you’re here. But it’s not a bad situation at all here, there’s a lot of good guys on the team and it’s very competitive and a lot of fun.
HF: Do you have a goalie coach in Reading?
JQ: The Kings have two goalie coaches in the system and they just kind of work with all the goalies. They made it down to Reading already for about a week to work with me and I’ll see either one of them at least once a month.
HF: Which one visited you?
JQ: Kim Dillabaugh.
HF: I read that you like to watch video of teams to prepare yourself for them. Are you able to do that in this league?
JQ: Not as much because the turnaround time between each game is a lot less. In college you have a full week to prepare for two games, sometimes the same team, so you only have one team to prepare for. Here you play three different teams on three different nights in three different cities. You don’t get as much time to get the prep done but even if I’m not able to watch video, I look up the scoresheet to see who the guys are to watch, see who’s on the power play and all that stuff.
HF: Last spring you said you left school early to get a step closer to the NHL. Do you feel like you’re a step closer now that you’re playing pro?
JQ: Yeah, absolutely. It’s what I wanted to do and I’m just going 100 percent.
HF: How did Kings camp go for you?
JQ: It went well, it was a lot of fun. I met a lot of guys. It was exciting to play with some of the big-name players.
HF: I saw that you like to sing songs to yourself when the puck is at the other end.
JQ: Yeah, it’s just something to keep me occupied. Sometimes it’ll be 10 or 12 minutes of it being at the other end. It’s easy to lose focus. Whatever’s on the radio before will usually be in my head.
HF: What were you singing tonight?
JQ: Tonight…nah, I wasn’t really singing too many songs tonight (laughing).
HF: The puck wasn’t down there so much. Do you think that Reading plays a more open system than UMass?
JQ: Um, a little bit, but at the same time, defense is one of the high priorities on this club and the coach is committed to having us play good defense and we’re doing a good job of it so far.
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