Saint-Jean, note that even if Montreal Canadiens fans are excited to see Kaiden Guhle in their favorite team’s uniform, the defender’s head has yet to turn for Montreal, or even for the resumption of the World Junior Championships next August.
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The Canadiens’ first round pick for 2020 has the chance to finish their junior training in the best possible way: by lifting the Memorial Cup.
It will definitely be an exclamation mark at the end of a long, eventful season. From the Canadians camp, to the canceled World Juniors in December, to the deal that took him from Prince Albert Raiders to Edmonton Oil Kings, Guhle had no time to stop thinking. 2021-2022. But this will wait a little longer.
“For me, it’s go, go, go all year. It’s been nice to have all these experiences and it’s been a fun year. It’s good to end it here with these guys on the bigger stage in junior hockey,” stressing that he had not made a decision on Whether he will take part in the resumption of the World Junior Championships in August.
For now, all that matters to Guhle is the Memorial Cup. He was part of the Oil Kings WHL win, and earned the honors MVP.
“He had an impact in all aspects of the game when he got here, especially in the changing room with his leadership and the kind of person he is. Obviously on the ice everyone sees: he’s unbelievable. He reduces space for opposing players, he’s physical and excellent defensively. In addition, he was one of the best offensive players during the playoffs.
Guhle has continued his progress this year thanks, in particular, to all the experiences he has had.
“I have worked with many different coaches and they have helped me gain confidence in myself as well as with the puck. I think my offensive game has improved,” said the man who finished the regular season with 40 points in 42 games split between Prince Albert and Edmonton.
For coach Brad Lauer, Guhle’s steady progression and influence on the Oil Kings since his arrival makes him believe he’s close to a regular NHL job.
“In four years here, he’s definitely the closest NHL player I’ve coached. His approach is really very professional on and off the ice. He’s a very mature guy. […] He’s the type of player who is never satisfied who comes to training every day in order to work on his game. It is this approach that will make it work,” says the person who accepted the position as head coach of the tournament. Oil Kings In 2018, I worked for nearly ten years as an NHL assistant with the Ottawa Senators, Anaheim Ducks and Tampa Bay Lightning.
In Edmonton, Guhle was positioned alongside Nashville Predators defender and potential Luke Prokop. This pair has been used in every situation and is likely to be key to the Oil Kings if they hope to win the Anniversary Cup.
“We grew up playing together and against each other,” Prokop said. He is an excellent player, an excellent teammate and an excellent friend. We complement each other well on the ice.
“What makes Kaiden so effective is his skateboarding skills and his way of looking at the game. When he makes a mistake, which rarely happens, he has the skating skills to step back and correct his mistake. He is a very smart player, and he makes a good snowboard reading.”
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