Son John also was quite the talented athlete, particularly on the ice. Quilty was invited to the Montreal Canadiens training camp as a 19-year old in 1940 and immediately impressed the Canadiens staff. They signed him as a free agent on October 29, 1940.
Quilty didn't disappoint them and was voted the rookie of the year winning the Calder Trophy, after having posted 18 goals and 34 points in 48 games as a 19 year old. He followed that up with a strong sophomore campaign was well, but World War II would interrupt his promising career. Based in Canada during the war, Quilty continued playing hockey for Toronto RCAF and Vancouver RCAF while with the Royal Canadian Air Force. He achieved the rank of sergeant.
He never played full time in the NHL again and only appeared briefly for Montreal and Boston between 1946-48. On December 16, 1947 he was traded to Boston from Montreal along with Jimmy Peters Jr. for Joe Carveth. Shortly after arriving in Boston he broke his leg badly, courtesy of a Bob Goldham body check, effectively ending his NHL career.
He finished his active career in the Cape Breton Senior Hockey League, Eastern Canada Senior Hockey League and Quebec Senior Hockey League. His hockey career was over at only. He would return to Ottawa where he played senior hockey for several years after leaving the NHL. In 1991 he was posthumously inducted into the Ottawa Sports Hall of Fame.
Unfortunately Johnny got into the booze which ruined a very promising hockey career. He eventually worked for Alcoholics Anonymous and helped bring back a lot of people to sobriety. He was a warmhearted person who passed away, way to early, only 48 years old.
Johnny Quilty's totals in the NHL were just 70 points (36 goals + 34 assists) in 125 regular season games and 8 points (3 goals + 5 assists) in 13 playoff contests.