With his second NHL callup starting today, it’s time for Bruins fans to get familiar with a new-ish face: defenseman Adam McQuaid. Known for being a solid defensive defenseman, McQuaid has seen only 15 NHL games so far this year. Here’s a little primer on the 6’3, 23-year-old blueliner.
Adam McQuaid was born on October 12, 1986 in Cornwall, Prince Edward Island, which is right outside of Charlottetown, the provincial capital of PEI. The only two other PEI-born current NHLers are Steve Ott and Brad Richards; neither are from Charlottetown. The last NHL player originally from McQuaid’s hometown was Al MacAdam; considering that he spent his second-to-last season with the Minnesota North Stars, it’s no surprise that the city holds McQuaid in fairly high regard.
After playing major midget hockey with his hometown Cornwall Thunder of the PEIHA, McQuaid was selected in the third round of the 2003 OHL draft by the Sudbury Wolves, behind Marc Staal and Kyle Lamb. He played for two years, regularly playing paired with Marc Staal. The two were formidable, paired together; while Staal played more offensively-minded, McQuaid became known as “one of the better defensive-defensemen in the OHL.” After a season where he put up 19 points in 66 games, McQuaid was drafted by the Columbus Blue Jackets in the second round of the 2005 NHL entry draft, 55th overall. By comparison, Tuukka Rask was drafted 21st overall in the first round, Boston’s first round pick was the disappointing Matt Lashoff, Vladimir Sobotka went 106th overall in round 4, Jonathan Quick went 72nd, and Nashville’s Patric Hornqvist was picked last.
And Sidney Crosby went first, and Carey Price went fifth. Moving on.
McQuaid returned to Sudbury for two more seasons, including a 2006-2007 campaign where he amassed 37 points and 134 PIMs, helping his team reach the OHL finals. The Wolves lost in 6 games, but it was definitely the season that defined McQuaid’s career. Like future teammate Tuukka Rask, McQuaid never saw playing time with the Columbus organization, although he did participate in training camps. The summer after his career in major juniors, Columbus traded him to Boston for a fifth-round pick. Boston immediately signed him to a three-year contract and assigned him to Providence.
Upon arriving in Rhode Island, McQuaid immediately began making an impact; the P-Bruins reached the playoffs thanks in part to McQuaid’s defensive abilities. He was named P-Bruins Man of the Year and received their annual community service award after his rookie season, and returned in 2008-2009 to don the ‘A’ and help lead his team to the Eastern Conference Finals. Although they lost to the eventual Calder-Cup winning Hershey Bears, the season was a strong one for the P-Bruins organization, and McQuaid with his 18 points and 167 PIMs was given the season’s Fan Appreciation award. So far in 2009-2010, McQuaid has only played in 32 games, but his ability to lead the team despite only playing half the season is apparent by the fact that he frequently wears the captain’s ‘C’ when Trent Whitfield is unable to do so.
McQuaid has logged 15 games for the NHL Bruins so far this season, his first. His first game was against the Toronto Maple Leafs, on December 19th; his first fight was against Troy Bodie in Anaheim, on January 13th; his first goal was a game-winner at the Bell Centre against the Montreal Canadiens.
He may or may not play tonight against the Capitals, but if so – here’s hoping tonight is a sweet #16 for the PEI native. Go McQuaid go!
BONUS FACTS ABOUT MCQUAID:
- He is an avid American Idol fan, according to former P-Bruins teammate (and BU Terrier!) Kevin Schaeffer. From Schaef’s blog:
“A quick American Idol update. My girl Janelle Wheeler was given the boot. Unfortunate, but her performance looked like it belonged at T’s Pub on a Tuesday night. My good buddy and big AI fan, Adam McQuaid was distraught over Janelle getting sent home after sending me a message displaying obvious signs of disgust.”
Whatever you say, Schaeffer.
- McQuaid has been out of commission since the middle of February with an injury that was assumed to be from his fight with Victor Oreskovich; no, in fact, McQuaid had a concussion from tripping over his own suitcase and hitting his head on a table in his house. Oh, Quaider. I’m happy you’re ok, but….WOW.