Kaiden Guhle at the gates of the NHL, according to his coach

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In four seasons at the helm of the Edmonton Oil Kings, head coach Brad Lauer admits he hasn’t seen a player as ready to play in the National Hockey League (NHL) as Montreal Canadiens prospect Kaiden Guhle.

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Lauer praised the physical qualities of the one the Habs selected in the first round (16th) in 2020. He also recalled how wise Guhle was off the ice.

He has a very professional approach in his game, on the ice and off the ice, he said, a few hours before the duel between the Oil Kings and the Shawinigan Cataractes at the Memorial Cup. He is a very mature person.

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In four years, of all the players I’ve coached, he’s probably the most ready for the NHL.

The Oil Kings acquired Guhle from the Prince Albert Raiders during the season. Lauer then got to know the 20-year-old Albertan.

The way he carries himself off the ice, he’s very down to earth, he said. He is very impressive for a young man.

Oil Kings captain Jake Neighbors was full of praise for Guhle, too. After all, the imposing defenseman registered 8 goals and 8 assists in 19 games during the Western Junior League playoffs.

Guhle’s performances earned him the playoff MVP award.

[Son acquisition] had an impact in all aspects of the game, Neighbors claimed. In the locker room, he is a leader. On the ice, everyone sees him in his way of containing the opponent, of playing physical hockey.

Also, he was one of our best offensive players, not just among defensemen, in the playoffs.

Improved attacking game

Guhle pointed out that it’s probably on the attacking side where he has improved the most during a busy season.

After making a good impression at the Canadiens’ camp, he started the campaign with the Raiders, amassing 15 points in 17 games. He was traded to the Oil Kings on Dec. 1 and has added 25 points in 25 season games.

In the meantime, he also captained Junior Team Canada for two games, before the tournament was postponed to this summer due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

I got to rub shoulders with a lot of coaches and learn from different people,” Guhle said. I think my attacking game has improved here because I’m surrounded by very talented players.

I think the coaches also trust me to carry the puck.

Guhle formed an effective duo on the blue line, along with Luke Prokop. The latter praised his teammate’s skating qualities, despite his imposing size.

His skating and his way of seeing the game allow him to repair his mistakes, and he rarely makes anysaid Prokop, a prospect for the Nashville Predators.

Lauer will rely heavily on this duo to counter the best opposing elements during the Memorial Cup.

Guhle intends to focus fully on the tournament. He was the victim of an early Memorial Cup elimination after three preliminary round losses with the Raiders in 2019.

He wouldn’t confirm if he’ll return as Junior Team Canada captain in Edmonton and Red Deer in August. He will make a decision after the Memorial Cup.

Regardless, his summer will be short, but he will put his hands in to give himself the best chance of carving out a position with CH this fall.

He’s the type of guy who’s never satisfied, who shows up every day with the intention of working on all aspects of his game. That’s his approach, and that’s why he’ll be playing in the NHLconcluded Lauer.

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The Canadian Press

Source: Radio-Canada


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