Montreal Canadiens Prospect Kaiden Guhle Named WHL Playoffs MVP

KENT, WASHINGTON - JUNE 07: Kaiden Guhle (Photo by Christopher Mast/Getty Images)
KENT, WASHINGTON - JUNE 07: Kaiden Guhle (Photo by Christopher Mast/Getty Images) /

Montreal Canadiens prospects were pretty busy during the various Canadian Hockey League Finals this week. Each of the three leagues, the QMJHL, OHL and WHL featured prominent Habs prospects fighting for a championship.

Xavier Simoneau and William Trudeau fell short in the Quebec league finals, dropping the series 4-1 to the Shawinigan Cataractes. Trudeau scored three goals in five games and Simoneau had seven assists in just four games in the finals, but it wasn’t enough to overcome a powerful Shawinigan squad.

The OHL Finals will finish tomorrow night when the Hamilton Bulldogs take on the Windsor Spitfires in Game 7. Jan Mysak and Arber Xhekaj are representing the Habs on the Bulldogs side while Daniil Sobolev plays for the Spitfires.

They all had successful playoff runs with their respective teams, but none of them were as good as Kaiden Guhle. The Habs first round pick from the 2020 NHL Draft was traded to the Edmonton Oil Kings at the WHL trade deadline and he has proven to be worth the huge haul it cost to get him.

The Oil Kings gave up two future first round picks, a couple of young roster players and a pair of later draft picks to get Guhle for the second half of this season. With the benefit of hindsight, the trade was a terrific one for Edmonton.

After being acquired, Guhle put up 25 points in 25 regular season games for the Oil Kings. He was hurt down the stretch of the season, but returned just in time for Game 1 of the opening round of the playoffs. He was just as good in the postseason, finishing with eight goals and 16 points in 19 games.

While his offence was impressive, the 6’2″ and 201 pound left defender is even better defensively. His speed and agility moving both forward and backward are incredible and he uses those skills to attack puck carriers and force them to make quick decision which often leads to turnovers or soft dump-ins.

Guhle played on the team’s top pairing, killed penalties and was a fixture on their power play as well. He was an enormous part of the Oil Kings earning a WHL Championship and if that wasn’t obvious already, he was rewarded with the Playoff MVP Award for his efforts.

Dylan Guenther nearly averaged a goal per game, Sebastian Cossa allowed less than two goals per game, Carter Souch scored 21 points in 19 games, but it was Guhle who picked as the team’s most valuable player in the postseason.

Next up for the Oil Kings is the Memorial Cup which begins on Monday, June 20th in Saint John, New Brunswick. Edmonton will face Shawinigan, Saint John and either Windsor or Hamilton in the tournament for Canadian Junior hockey supremacy.

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