Kaiden Guhle will be the player to watch at the Habs rookie camp

Published September 13, 2021 at 10:02 PM

With one month to go before the start of the National Hockey League regular season, the Montreal Canadiens' rookie camp will begin this Wednesday. Despite the fact that there will be some big absentees, like all the prospects playing in the American university circuits, several players will be in the spotlight, like young defenseman Kaiden Guhle.

The 19-year-old will be attending his first rookie camp with the Habs. Canadiens fans will finally have the opportunity to watch the team's first round pick (16th overall) in 2020, after a year complicated by the COVID-19 pandemic.

Guhle didn't get much of a chance to showcase his talent during the 2020-21 season, playing just two games with the Prince Albert Raiders of the Western Junior League and three with the Laval Rocket.

Despite this, he has made a good impression on those who have had the chance to see him play. On air at 91.9 Sports with Martin Lemay and Raphaël Doucet, journalist Mathias Brunet admitted that he took the time to analyze each of Kaiden Guhle's three games with the Laval Rocket, and if he admits that he wasn't very excited about Guhle in the past, he now says that he has fallen in love with the young left-handed defenseman.

A fan of simple and effective play, Brunet says he was very impressed with the maturity of Guhle's game. Very mobile laterally and with excellent decision making for a player his age, Guhle makes virtually no mistakes on the ice. This is very impressive considering he was only 18 years old when he played the three games Brunet analyzed in a real professional league.

To get an even better idea of how far Guhle has come, Brunet played the same game with Mattias Norlinder, analyzing the three prep games the latter just played in Sweden, and he didn't seem to be as impressed.

Known as an offensive defenseman and a power play specialist, Norlinder would however have some deficiencies in terms of toughness and defense. Still according to Brunet, the one who is two years older than Guhle could find it very difficult to adjust to the North American style of play, which certainly puts him a step behind his Alberta counterpart.

An advantageous comparison

Finally, Mathias Brunet and Martin Lemay took the opportunity to play the comparison game. One of the first names people think of when comparing Guhle's game is Montreal Canadiens captain Shea Weber. Although it was felt that he didn't want to get too far ahead of the game, Brunet's comments make it pretty clear that Kaiden Guhle is way ahead of Shea Weber at the same age, especially in terms of mobility.

Guhle also has the physicality for the job, so according to Brunet, he will be the player to watch during the Tricolore's rookie camp, as he is "typically the kind of player that coaches like".

In short, even if the Habs have often burned themselves by bringing young players too quickly to their big club, like Jesperi Kotkaniemi, there is certainly something to be excited about with Kaiden Guhle. It will be interesting to see how he does in the next few days and during the official training camp of the Habs.
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