Montreal Canadiens Prospect Kaiden Guhle Nominated for WHL Defenceman of the Year

Oct 1, 2021; Ottawa, Ontario, CAN; Montreal Canadiens Kaiden Guhle. Mandatory Credit: Marc DesRosiers-USA TODAY Sports
Oct 1, 2021; Ottawa, Ontario, CAN; Montreal Canadiens Kaiden Guhle. Mandatory Credit: Marc DesRosiers-USA TODAY Sports /

The Montreal Canadiens drafted Kaiden Guhle in the first round of the 2020 NHL Draft.

Though not a lot was known about him at the time, and he wasn’t the flashiest player available at the time, he has certainly grown on Canadiens fans quickly since his selection.

Guhle made the World Junior team in 2021 as an 18 year old and played a third pairing role on the Canadian team that won a silver medal. He was then named captain of the 2022 World Junior team but that event was cancelled after a few days because of Covid outbreaks on the teams involved.

Guhle started this season with the Prince Albert Raiders of the WHL on what was one of the weaker teams in the league after winning a WHL championship in 2019. The Habs prospect was dealt to the Edmonton Oil Kings at midseason and they are among the top teams in the country. Guhle immediately landed on their top defence pairing, top power play and their top penalty kill right away.

Between Prince Albert and Edmonton, the 20 year old put up 40 points in 42 games, including 25 in 25 contests in Edmonton.

He has proven to be a dominant player in the defensive zone and a smart, effective offensive weapon at the WHL level as well. He was recognized for his strong play earlier today by the league.

The WHL has four finalists for most of its awards with one nominee coming from each of the four divisions. The Defenceman of the Year Award, or the Bill Hunter Memorial Trophy, will go to either Guhle, Olen Zellweweger, Denton Mateychuk or Gannon Laroque.

Zellweger, and Anaheim Ducks prospect led all defencemen in scoring with 75 points, but none of them boast a polished defensive game like Guhle. If the award was purely for defensive play, Guhle would be the favourite, but points usually win out for these awards that are voted on by general managers.

We will have to wait until June 1st before the award is actually handed out. Before then, Guhle and the Oil Kings will be more worried about trying to win a WHL Championship as the playoffs begin tonight.

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