Montreal Canadiens: Kaiden Guhle’s WHL Season Could Begin in February

EVERETT, WASHINGTON - OCTOBER 19: Defenseman Kaiden Guhle (Photo by Christopher Mast/Getty Images)
EVERETT, WASHINGTON - OCTOBER 19: Defenseman Kaiden Guhle (Photo by Christopher Mast/Getty Images) /

Montreal Canadiens prospect Kaiden Guhle could begin WHL season soon

Montreal Canadiens prospect Kaiden Guhle just won a silver medal at the World Juniors. He played a depth role on the third pairing but him and Justin Barron formed a great shutdown pairing in limited minutes.

Making his performance a little more impressive was the fact that they were the only games Guhle has played since March.

The Canadiens first round pick in the 2020 NHL Draft played for the Prince Albert Raiders of the Western Hockey League last season. The 6’3″ and 210 pound left defenceman scored 11 goals and 40 points in 62 WHL games in 2019-20. His combination of size, skating and two-way ability from the blue line are what caught the attention of the Habs and they were all on full display at the World Juniors.

They question now is when will we see Guhle in action again? The WHL is yet to play a game this season due to Covid-19 and the vast landscape of the league makes it difficult for teams to travel while adhering to the current protocols in place to combat the virus. There are teams as far east as Winnipeg, Manitoba and as far west as Victoria, British Columbia. There are also five teams in the United States.

The NHL had a difficult time getting government officials to sign off on the seven Canadian teams joining together in a division for the upcoming NHL season. Trying to get a WHL season off the ground involving four different provinces and several states is going to be extremely difficult.

Due to this, it was rumoured last week that Junior players would be allowed to play in the AHL this season. It was believed Guhle, and Jan Mysak who would be playing for the Hamilton Bulldogs of the OHL, would be in attendance when the Laval Rocket opened camp later this month.

However, a report from Jeff Marek who covers Juniors hockey for Sportsnet, makes it sound like the WHL is going to turn over every rock looking for a way to play a 2021 season.

It sounds like the WHL is planning on having a season that starts in late February, only plays games on the weekend, has some teams share rinks and moves USA based teams to Canada for the season.

This is extraordinarily ambitious for a Junior league.

We will have to wait and see if anything more official comes soon. However, it is sounding like the WHL will do whatever it takes to play games this season. At this point in his career, it might be more beneficial for Guhle to play limited minutes in the AHL with Joel Bouchard as his head coach.

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However, another short season in the WHL wouldn’t hurt his development. Hopefully the WHL makes a decision either way soon so Guhle can get ready for his season, whether it is in the WHL or AHL.