Montreal Canadiens: Should Kaiden Guhle Play In 2022 World Juniors?

EDMONTON, AB - DECEMBER 27: Kaiden Guhle (Photo by Codie McLachlan/Getty Images)
EDMONTON, AB - DECEMBER 27: Kaiden Guhle (Photo by Codie McLachlan/Getty Images) /

Montreal Canadiens prospect Kaiden Guhle was supposed to be the captain of Canada’s team at the 2022 World Juniors in Edmonton. It lasted two games before the tournament was cancelled due to Covid-19.

There was some initial confusion about whether the tournament would happen at all, or if it would be picked up from it left off at a later date. Eventually, officials announced that the event would be played in full, cancelling what had already happened and erasing those games from the history books.

The new plan was to play a summer tournament to make up for the annual event that is always held around the holidays. So, this summer we will watch the World Juniors for the first time in flip flops instead of Christmas sweaters.

The games will take place between August 9th and 20th in Edmonton, Alberta at Rogers Place. Though the tournament is about eight months later than usual, the same age group will participate, so players had to be 19 years old on December 31st, 2021.

A couple of countries have announced summer evaluation camps for July in anticipation of the new schedule, including USA who invited Blake Biondi to their camp. Canada has remained tight-lipped about their selection process, but Darren Dreger reported last night during TSN’s coverage of the Memorial Cup that they are planning on keeping the same roster.

He added that it will be up to individual players to opt out of the event if they want to do so. One player who could very well choose not to participate is Canadiens prospect Kaiden Guhle.

The first round pick from the 2020 NHL Draft was slated to play a huge role on the team, but he just might have too much on his plate. After barely playing a game during the 2020-21 season due to Covid shutdowns and injuries, Guhle has been going non-stop this season.

Guhle took part in Canadiens development camp as well as their main training camp last fall. He got a long look in camp at making the NHL roster so he played a handful of exhibition games before being sent back to the Prince Albert Raiders of the WHL. He was eventually traded to the Edmonton Oil Kings and combined to play 42 regular season games.

He would get hurt late in the regular season but made it back in time for Game 1 of the playoffs and suited up for all 19 postseason games. The Oil Kings won the WHL Championship so they are now participating in the Memorial Cup. If the Oil Kings make the final, their last game is on June 29th.

That’s a late end to the season for a prospect. Guhle has a chance to make the Canadiens roster in the fall and will be in their training camp on September 15th. If he plays in the World Juniors, he would be in training camp for that event for a week or so in late July. Then, the tournament would keep him busy from August 9-20.

So, he would have a couple of weeks off in early July before getting ready for the World Juniors. Then, a couple weeks off before NHL training camp begins. That’s not an ideal way to prepare for what could be your first NHL season.

Guhle likely feels obligated to play in the World Juniors, especially since he is the team’s captain. He won a silver medal at the 2021 event and would surely want to add a gold to that trophy case in what is his last opportunity to do so at this event.

However, if he does play it doesn’t give him any chance to rest his body and allow himself to properly gear up for an important training camp and exhibition schedule leading up to his first pro season.

It is a tough call, but one Guhle will have to make soon. The team has a deadline of July 1st to submit its roster. That gives him one day off between the Memorial Cup and the decision to play in the World Juniors. It will be interesting to keep an eye on what the young blue liner decides.

A Winning Habit
A Winning Habit /

Want your voice heard? Join the A Winning Habit team!

Write for us!

Related Story. Ranking Past 10 First Overall Picks. light