As most Canadiens’ fans have their eyes on the NHL Draft, some of the team’s prospects are still having an impact on their respective teams. And what an impact Kaiden Guhle is having. He caped it off when the Edmonton Oil Kings beat the Seattle Thunderbirds to earn a trip to St-John, New Brunswick next week to represent the WHL at the Memorial Cup.
Acquired from the Prince Albert Raiders in a mega-trade back in December, the 20 year-old defenseman is the first player to win the WHL title in back to back years since Trevor Glass did it in 2007 and 2008. In 19 playoffs’ games in these playoffs, Guhle managed eight goals and eight assists for 16 points, 10 minutes in penalty and a plus -17 rating. He has been a force at both ends of the ice and a huge reason why Edmonton is still playing.
He’s mean. He’s strong. He’s physical. He distributes pain and makes you feel it the next day. He makes you keep your head up and beware where he is while on the ice. Here are a few of his hits in these playoffs…
Reset of 2018
Selected 16th overall by the Canadiens, the 6-foot two-inches, 198 lbs defenseman was selected in the midst of former GM Marc Bergevin’s reset, which started in the summer of 2018. He and Trevor Timmins focussed on gathering picks and drafting well, putting the emphasis on character. That’s when they started involving Dr. David Scott, a well known sports psychologist, in draft prospects’ interviews.
And it seems like the reset is starting to pay off for the organization. Unfortunately for them, Bergevin and Timmins aren’t there to reap the benefits of what they started, but the Canadiens as a franchise certain is starting to. Here are some of their young players and prospects since:
- Nick Suzuki (not drafted by the Habs, but traded for and developed by them)
- Cole Caufield
- Alexander Romanov
- Jordan Harris
- Kaiden Guhle (D – 0.95 pts/GP)
- Joshua Roy (1.80 pts/GP)
- Jan Mysak (1.05 pts/GP)
- Riley Kidney (1.52 pts/GP)
- Rafaël Harvey-Pinard (0.81 pts/GP)
- Jesse Ylönen (0.69 pts/GP)
- Brett Stapley (1.05 pts/GP)
- Sean Farrell (1.17 pts/GP)
- Oliver Kapanen (0.62 pts/GP)
- Blake Biondi (0.67 pts/GP)
- Xavier Simoneau (1.79 pts/GP)
- William Trudeau (D – 0.65 pts/GP)
- Arber Zhekaj (D – 0.67 pts/GP)
- Logan Mailloux (D – 0.75 pts/GP)
The future is bright folks, and it was all started by Bergevin and Timmins. They are gone now, and it’s up to Jeff Gorton and Kent Hughes to continue developing them well, and have another strong draft in three weeks or so. The building blocks are there, and the foundation seems solid.
In the meantime, the WHL Playoffs’ MVP will be continuing his amazing season, chasing the Memorial Cup next week.
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