Prominent Analyst Says Kaiden Guhle Is Untouchable

Guhle has been patrolling the Canadiens blueline with the poise of a 10 year veteran.

Montreal Canadiens v Edmonton Oilers
Montreal Canadiens v Edmonton Oilers / Lawrence Scott/GettyImages

The Montreal Canadiens started building their budding group of future blueliners before Kent Hughes and Jeff Gorton arrived.

Marc Bergevin put in some of the groundwork, drafting Kaiden Guhle, Adam Engstrom and Logan Mailloux. They also nabbed Jordan Harris and Jayden Struble, both from Northeastern University. Then signing free agent Arber Xhekaj and we know how that has played out. 

Hughes and Gorton then added Lane Hutson, David Reinbacher, and Bogdan Konyushkov and acquired Justin Barron via trade with the Colorado Avalanche. Question marks have risen about the offence, mainly with the decision to select Reinbacher ahead of the 2023 Draft's talented forward crop. But one thing that hasn’t been questioned is the defensive depth in the Habs prospect pool. 

One player has emerged from the group, playing significant minutes with the Canadiens. He currently leads the group of defensemen drafted since the 2020 draft. His brilliant play on his offside alongside Mike Matheson has prompted a trusted analyst to tout him as an untouchable. 

Pierre McGuire has been around hockey for a long time, keeping a close eye on every hockey team. His primary focus is on the NCAA prospects; as a Boston local, but he is no slouch in terms of his NHL knowledge. With that said, there have been trade talks surrounding the Canadiens - suggesting they move a defender to acquire an impact forward. 

The idea makes a lot of sense, especially when you consider that an NHL blueliner features just six defenders. Sometimes a seventh one may slot in, but more than likely as a rotating option. But if the Canadiens do facilitate such a trade, McGuire believes that Guhle isn’t an option to be moved.

There are different opinions about McGuire and his analysis, some listen and some think it’s nonsense. But he has been around the league for a long time and he knows talent. Guhle may not be a true number-one defenseman, but he is certainly one that you win with. 

At just 22 years old, Guhle leads the promising group of defenders that are 25 and under. It’s easy to forget that he is just 22, considering the important minutes that he plays each night. There are still mistakes and poor reads, but he has plenty of time to iron those things out before hitting his prime. 

Guhle should conceivably be in Montreal for the long haul and he will be an integral piece of the group. Coming along on the top pair, Guhle has had to adapt to playing against the top players, and it has allowed him to grow his game in a big way. The competition has challenged him to use his skating, strength and strong positioning to limit time and space for the opposition.