Is Dylan Guenther the next big dog in Arizona?

Recently drafted ninth overall in the 2021 NHL draft, Arizona Coyotes forward Dylan Guenther put on a show for Coyotes fans in their five team NHL prospect tournament. Guenther showed immense speed and patience with the puck. His speed and patience paired with his lethal wrist shot is a force to be reckoned with on the ice. Guenther, 18 years of age, debuted with the Edmonton Oil Kings of the WHL in 2018. Since then he has played 78 games for the Oil Kings and has put up 41 goals and 46 assists for a respectable total of 87 points. Has Dylan Guenther always been a point per game player you ask? Lets dive into his hockey history shall we?

In 2016-2017 he played for the KC Squires U15 AAA team and put up 34 goals and 20 assists for 54 total points in 34 games. Those numbers are definitely impressive but it’s what happened next that really put Coyotes prospect Dylan Guenther on the scouts radars. Dylan joined a hockey program called NAX (Northern Alberta Extreme) at a school named John Maland High School located in a small town called Devon, Alberta. This is where he played for the 2017-2018 season putting up 56 goals and 47 assists for 103 total points, impressive right? What’s even more impressive is the fact that he did this in only 30 games. In the 2018-2019 season he did not disappoint putting up 32 goals and 26 assists for 58 points in 28 games. I actually went to school with Dylan. I was a couple grades ahead of him but I got to see him play during his NAX days. I remember watching him and just seeing how much more developed as a player he was compared to the other guys. He showed so much dominance on the ice and over and above that he showed great leadership skills as well.

What good are these stats for the Coyotes? Arizona was 28th out of 31 in overall scoring during the 2018-2019 season and were 23rd out of 31 the last two seasons. The Coyotes have always struggled to find the back of the net over the last few years and it has cost them many games. You cant win games in this league only averaging between 2.3-2.7 goals per game which is what they averaged the last few years. Coyotes forward Clayton Keller has shown that he can score goals but he is more of a playmaker. Nick Schmaltz is a great goal scorer but unfortunately his last two years have been off as he has battled injuries. Jakob Chychrun is an underrated guy who can score a lot of goals which definitely helps the Coyotes but what they really need is a forward who can consistently put the puck in the net. Maybe a guy like Conor Garland, Michael Bunting, or Christian Dvorak? We all know how that ended up.

So what’s the solution now? Well, Barrett Hayton has to be close to being in the NHL and he has shown that he can score goals no problem. Shane Wright season is now for the Coyotes but they are not 100% guaranteed to get him. Dylan Guenther is their solution and he can be the guy to help Arizona get somewhere. Arizona recently cut Guenther from training camp. He will join the Edmonton Oil Kings for this season where he can get top line minutes and further advance his development. Guenther looked really good against the prospects in terms of speed, shot, vision, and patience but when he played in the pre-season against NHL guys he seemed to lack size and was getting pushed off the puck easily. If he can put on some size and strength he will be one guy teams have their list of players to watch out for.

Guenther was staying with former Coyotes captain Shane Doan during his time in Arizona and had opportunities to talk with Doan and he spoke about the great influence Shane is and how good of a person he is. He also got to meet Coyotes second round draft pick and son of Shane, Josh Doan. I am good buddies with Josh and was talking to him about Dylan and his moves on the ice where he replied with “Guenther’s moves are nasty and he is a great guy”. This just goes to show what kind of person Dylan is and that he is loved by his fellow teammates in Arizona. Guenther spoke about how his first ever NHL jersey was a Coyote jersey and how it was cool to be a Coyote now and is excited to be a part of the future. It seems like Guenther getting drafted to the Coyotes was always meant to be.

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *