Montreal Canadiens: Five Bold Predictions For 2023-24 Season

OTTAWA, CANADA - JANUARY 28: Owen Beck #62 of the Montreal Canadiens skates against the Ottawa Senators at Canadian Tire Centre on January 28, 2023 in Ottawa, Ontario, Canada. (Photo by Chris Tanouye/Freestyle Photography/Getty Images)
OTTAWA, CANADA - JANUARY 28: Owen Beck #62 of the Montreal Canadiens skates against the Ottawa Senators at Canadian Tire Centre on January 28, 2023 in Ottawa, Ontario, Canada. (Photo by Chris Tanouye/Freestyle Photography/Getty Images) /
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Mar 9, 2023; Montreal, Quebec, CAN; Montreal Canadiens defenseman Kaiden Guhle. Mandatory Credit: David Kirouac-USA TODAY Sports
Mar 9, 2023; Montreal, Quebec, CAN; Montreal Canadiens defenseman Kaiden Guhle. Mandatory Credit: David Kirouac-USA TODAY Sports /

Kaiden Guhle Plays Top Pair With Mike Matheson

Like many of his Canadiens teammates, Kaiden Guhle was unable to play a full 82 games in his rookie season. What he was able to do though, goes beyond the scoresheet, which wasn’t half bad (18 points in 44 games).

But where he shined most was in his ability to keep up with opponents, benefitting in all three zones from his powerful skating. He has the rare ability to make plays with such poise and confidence, and he rarely looks nervous, even when exiting the zone with forecheckers rushing him.

Physically, Guhle still showed an ability to separate guys from the puck with huge hits, before making a smart play to transition the puck out of the defensive zone. What was impressive was seeing him throw hits for positive plays, very seldom did he lose his positioning as a result of a hit. His length also aided in disrupting plays, and he used his shot and passing to put together a strong stat line.

If Guhle can improve his shooting percentage, and continue climbing towards his potential, he should play his way onto the top defence pairing alongside Mike Matheson. He demonstrates an ability to never really look out of place, and his closing ability makes up for the times that he does slip.

A big physical defenseman that defends well, and skates like the wind would be a perfect complement to Matheson, at least until a right handed defender, like David Reinbacher or Logan Mailloux proves able to take the role from Guhle.