Suamico native Finley drafted by NHL’s New York Islanders
By Rich Palzewic
SUAMICO – Quinn Finley, a Suamico native, is one step closer to playing professional hockey.
With the 78th overall pick of the 2022 National Hockey League Draft, the New York Islanders selected Finley in the third round.
The draft was held in Montreal, Quebec, Canada, July 7-8.
“It’s super exciting for me and my family,” Finley, who attended Bay Port High School his freshman year, said. “I’m proud to be a part of the Islanders organization.”
Finley said he’s happy to be with an organization that wanted him.
“I had an interview with (the Islanders) at the (NHL) combine, and it went well,” he said. “I had several interviews (with other teams), but I thought New York could be a realistic landing spot for me.”
In his junior year, he played in the USHL again with the Madison Capitols.
“I’ll definitely play in Madison again my senior season,” Finley, who takes classes online, said. “I’ll live with a host family.”
He also recently announced his commitment to play collegiately at the University of Wisconsin-Madison.
“I’m also excited to be playing at UW-Madison,” the 17-year-old Finley said. “(Head Coach) Tony Granato and his staff do a great job. Granato has played and coached in the NHL – I believe and trust in him, and I can’t wait to get there.”
Now that his dream of getting drafted into the NHL has come true, Finley said he’s not sure of the exact route his future will take.
“I’m going to enjoy the process,” he said. “It’s a no-brainer to attend UW-Madison (my freshman year in college). After that, I’m sure the Islanders will tell me what they want, as well as my college coaches telling me what’s best.”
During the next few years, Finley said he has plenty to work on.
“I need to put on some muscle mass,” The 6-foot, 175-pound Finley said. “I think I can put on 10-15 pounds of good weight and keep my speed.”
Former Green Bay Gamblers head coach Jon Cooper, now with the NHL’s Tampa Bay Lightning, recently saw his team lose in the Stanley Cup finals to the Colorado Avalanche.
Cooper coached the Gamblers for two seasons (2008-10) and has appeared in five Stanley Cup finals with the Lightning, winning two.
Another former Gamblers head coach, Derek Lalonde, was recently hired by the NHL’s Detroit Red Wings.
Lalonde coached the Gamblers for three seasons (2011-14) and most recently was an assistant coach for Cooper in Tampa Bay.
“It’s cool,” Finley, who played for the Junior Gamblers during his younger years, said about Cooper and Lalonde. “People from Green Bay are going to the NHL and succeeding. Being from Green Bay and playing for the Junior Gamblers makes it even cooler.”
Quinn is the son of Michael and Ingrid Finley.
Other local picks
- Gamblers center Cameron Lund was drafted in the second round – 34th overall – by the San Jose Sharks.
- Gamblers center Ryan Greene was drafted in the second round – 57th overall – by the Chicago Blackhawks.