By Aaron Bell
It didn’t take Alan Quine long to introduce himself to his teammates. Not that it should have.
Quine, an Ottawa native, was acquired by the Belleville Bulls at the OHL trade deadline earlier this month and joined his third OHL team – all from the East division.
Quine was the second overall pick of the Kingston Frontenacs in the 2009 OHL Priority Selection and went to the Peterborough Petes in a blockbuster deal in 2010. He said that staying in the East Division was a huge bonus for him.
“I’ve been fortunate enough to be close to home all three times,” Quine said. “Belleville is a perfect fit. They are a great group of guys and a good staff there so I’m just excited to be a part of it.”
The Bulls have been among the top teams in the Eastern Conference all season but have struggled to score consistently – they were the lowest scoring team in the OHL this season. GM/coach George Burnett addressed those concerns in January by adding Quine, as well as veteran sniper Tyler Graovac from the Ottawa 67’s.
Graovac and Quine immediately became the team’s scoring leaders and both players are expected to help the Bulls gear up for an extended playoff run.
“It’s really exciting to be a part of it,” said Quine, who had a goal and four assists in his debut with the Bulls against Kingston on Jan. 11. “I haven’t been in a playoff spot in a while and to come to this team after they added Graovac a week before, it’s awesome.”
Quine also scored in his home ice debut against the Windsor Spitfires on Jan. 12 and had a pair of assists in the Bulls’ 7-2 win over the Niagara IceDogs in front of a nationally televised audience on Rogers Sportsnet.
Quine has never been a stranger to the scoresheet – he scored a career high 30 goals and 70 points last season with the Petes – but he has never had a season on the plus side of the plus-minus stat. So far in Belleville, he’s a plus-5 and he knows that the coaching staff in Belleville expects him to continue that trend as well.
“I think they just expect me to play hard and contribute offensively and just be a two-way player,” Quine said.
Quine has enjoyed teaming up with Russian sniper Daniil Zharkov since arriving in Belleville as well as time with Vancouver Canucks’ prospect Brendan Gaunce, Graovac and overager Joseph Cramarossa.
Zharkov, who helped Russia win the Bronze medal on home ice at the World Junior Championships earlier this month, has already made an impression on his new teammate.
“He’s a goal scorer,” Quine said. “I just hope I can find him and he’ll put them in the net.”