Kaiden Guhle named to Team Canada World Championship roster

Kaiden Guhle will don the red maple leaf, as one of Canada's seven defenseman.
Philadelphia Flyers v Montreal Canadiens
Philadelphia Flyers v Montreal Canadiens / Minas Panagiotakis/GettyImages

Montreal Canadiens defenseman Kaiden Guhle was announced as one of the seven defensemen who will represent Team Canada at the upcoming IIHF World Championship, the Canadiens announced on Friday.

For Canadiens fans, it's not all that surprising because Guhle is a gem on the Habs blueline, and he showed shades of his potential this season. The 22-year-old plays a very mature, heavy game which he showcased throughout his junior hockey career in the Western Hockey League. But he did so in a calculated way, only throwing around his weight when it made sense.

The 2024 World Championship will be Guhle's third time representing Canada. In 2018-19 Guhle captained Canada Red in the World Under-17 Hockey Challenge, where he posted three assists in six games, along with a plus-12 differential. He also patrolled the blueline for Canada in 2020-21 at the Under-20 World Junior Championship, where he scored three points through seven tournament games, helping his team to a silver medal.

Guhle's sophomore NHL season saw him feature as the Habs' number two defenseman all season. But what's more, he posted career-highs in games played (70), goals (6), assists (16) and points (22). It wasn't an easy season for the Canadiens, but one where the youth had a great year of growth and development and Guhle is right at the top of the list.

Alongside Mike Matheson, Guhle had some big responsibility, in allowing Matheson to play his attacking style, which required him to stay back and cover for his partner. Many times, when it looked like he was going to get beat in a race for a loose puck he showed his brilliant skating. In just a few strides Guhle would find separation and move the puck out of harm's way.

Certainly, team Canada's architects saw much of what Martin St. Louis saw, a defenseman who is already so smart and poised. They knew that adding a guy who can calm things down on the ice and elevate his speed game when necessary, would be an important addition. He isn't flashy, but he is effective and with the group that Canada is bringing on the blueline, they are well-balanced,