Canadiens: Guhle’s Poise And Maturity Makes Great Addition To Habs Blueline

MONTREAL, CANADA - OCTOBER 17: Kaiden Guhle #21 of the Montreal Canadiens skates against the Minnesota Wild during the second period at the Bell Centre on October 17, 2023 in Montreal, Quebec, Canada. The Minnesota Wild defeated the Montreal Canadiens 5-2. (Photo by Minas Panagiotakis/Getty Images)
MONTREAL, CANADA - OCTOBER 17: Kaiden Guhle #21 of the Montreal Canadiens skates against the Minnesota Wild during the second period at the Bell Centre on October 17, 2023 in Montreal, Quebec, Canada. The Minnesota Wild defeated the Montreal Canadiens 5-2. (Photo by Minas Panagiotakis/Getty Images) /
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The Montreal Canadiens have added some great young pieces to their blueline, and from the ground up, the organization has gained some excellent additions

One of those players hasn’t garnered much attention, but he does all the little things right, and that defenseman is Kaiden Guhle. Physically, he possesses ideal traits for a modern-day defender, standing 6’2″ and weighing 205 lbs, the 21-year-old is a horse. His skating instantly stands out; he is quick and agile, rarely getting caught flat-footed by opposing forwards.

Guhle’s scouting report discussed his excellent mobility, punishing physical style, and high hockey IQ. Because of his mobility, he makes defending look much easier than it is, with an intelligent stick and steady positioning. And while he is able to keep up with the opposition if the puck turns over, his calm, poised demeanour serves him well in preventing odd-man rushes.

Staying healthy has been tough, but in Montreal, the entire team – minus captain Nick Suzuki – has spent time on the injured reserve. Guhle has played big minutes for the team, and in many situations, which leaves him vulnerable to injuries. His latest was a concussion, and thankfully, it was dealt with, and he returned to the lineup against the Winnipeg Jets on Saturday night.

Of the current active Canadiens blueliners, I would say that Guhle has the highest potential to be a minute-munching top-pair defenseman. He was one of the best players on the ice between both teams, and he returned with a vengeance. Guhle had his name all over the statistics sheet, with two assists.

But that’s not what was the most impressive. In fact, it came second fiddle to Guhle’s advanced poise and maturity. When Mike Matheson went down with a lower-body injury, Guhle assumed the next-man-up role, leading the Canadiens in ice time with 25:08. What was most impressive was how he handled the increased workload, he was the team’s best blueliner, and no moment looked too big for the former first-round selection.

He was a massive part of the Habs comeback win against the Jets and looked dominant at times. The sky is the limit, and I don’t believe that he has even scratched the surface of what he can grow into. The blend that Guhle possesses should have more people excited about his potential because has some exciting skills, and he just keeps getting better.

Among the group of Arber Xhekaj, Jordan Harris and Justin Barron, all of whom are under 25, Guhle is likely the best of the group. Outside of the organization, there are obviously some exciting pieces in the wings. Players like Logan Mailloux, Lane Hutson and David Reinbacher may have higher potential. But Guhle has the experience and has continued to grow with each game that has passed. It’s time to get a little bit excited about the future of the Canadiens defence corps.

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