Jake Guentzel, C/LW/RW
Hometown: Woodbury. MN, USA
Drafted: 2013 by Pittsburgh, 77th Overall
January 2018 – The sniper has fallen on hard times after a scintillating 21-point Stanley Cup performance and a powerhouse pre-season combination with Sidney Crosby and Conor Sheary. Struggling with 13 goals, 23 points and minus-13 in 43 games, Guentzel has been part of five different line combinations as coach Mike Sullivan has tried in vain to get him going. Team scoring has been so inconsistent that Daniel Sprong has been called up and put on one of Crosby’s wings. With bottom-six C Carter Rowney out for a month, Guentzel is being used in the middle. He’s too talented to struggle forever and any time as a center will make him more versatile and valuable to the team. Mark Allan
November 2017 – While it would have been unreasonable to expect the Crosby-Guentzel-Sheary line to continue its blistering pre-season pace, who could have foreseen the trio’s struggles once the puck dropped for real? Happily for the two-time defending champs, Guentzel and Crosby each had three points Nov. 27 in a 5-4 comeback OT victory over the Flyers to continue a resurgence for both. Guentzel’s second goal of the game was his eighth in the past 11 games, leaving him with 11 goals and 17 points in 26 games. An ugly minus-8 is a reminder of his early-season struggles. Mark Allan
2017 – In just three pre-season encounters, Guentzel has amassed three goals and six assists. He, Sidney Crosby and Conor Sheary are befuddling opponents and dazzling fans with speed, desire, artistry and perhaps telepathy. If this trio plays all or most of the campaign together and they remain mostly healthy, Guentzel could easily hit 30 goals and 40 assists, including scads of PP points. Yahoo! lists him at LW and C, which adds to his value. Mark Allan
September 2017 – Sure, it’s pre-season, but the electrifying winger demonstrated outstanding hockey IQ, vision and diligence in rolling up a goal and four assists against the Red Wings. In a top-six role with Crosby or Malkin as his center, he should easily exceed 50 points and could hit 70. Mark Allan
June 2017 – Although he was a Stanley Cup superstar, Guentzel played only half (40 games) of one regular season beforehand, which is a decent albeit still-modest sample size. Therefore, he remains a Dobber prospect for a little longer. Even if he experiences a Cup hangover (more figurative than literal), expect good things from him, especially if he remains on Sid Crosby’s line. Mark Allan
June 2017 – Following a solid half regular season (16 goals, 33 points in 40 games) as an NHL rookie, the baby-faced RW had a post-season that will be a tough act to follow once the first puck drops again in October. The 22-year-old topped all playoff scorers with 13 goals, including a rookie record five GWGs. Finishing fourth with 21 points, Guentzel matched the NHL rookie record and fell just one goal short of the first-timer record held by Dino Ciccarelli. The undersized, opportunistic speedster shredded his Penguin prospect status (can you imagine anyone else on Sidney Crosby’s right side going forward?). Mark Allan
June 2017 – Dobber will graduate Jake Guentzel from prospect status ASAP after the Cup has been hoisted because not only has the youngster proved he’s an NHL regular, he’s sniped his way into Lord Stanley’s record book. Two goals in a Game Two win over Nashville in the final round jacked Guentzel’s playoff-leading total to 12. That’s the second-most ever by a rookie, trailing only Dino Ciccarelli's 14. Nineteen post-season points by Guentzel so far is the most by an American-born rookie, outperforming Joe Mullen. Guentzel also scored the fastest goal in Pittsburgh playoff history to start a period (10 seconds), his five post-season game-winning goals are an NHL rookie record in a single playoff year and he’s the fifth rookie in league history to reach double digits in goals in a single post-season. All this comes after Guentzel’s 16 goals and 33 points in 40 games following a mid-season callup. It’s becoming hard to remember who used to play RW with Sidney Crosby. Mark Allan
March 2017 – Just as Guentzel was flying high with Conor Sheary on Sidney Crosby's line, he was felled by a concussion, and is out indefinitely. Pittsburgh's outstanding organizational depth is being tested to its limits by an appalling number of injuries that shows no sign of abating. Josh Archibald, called up to replace Guentzel, is not an adequate replacement for the speedy, high-scoring winger. Mark Allan
February 2017 – Guentzel is back up with Pittsburgh after injuries to Conor Sheary (UBI, four to six weeks), Carl Hagelin (concussion, day to day) and Evgeni Malkin (LBI, day to day). The offensively minded Guentzel had an assist and was plus-1 skating with Nick Bonino and Phil Kessel in a 4-3 Feb. 3 win over the visiting Blue Jackets, then went scoreless the next day the next day in a 4-1 victory over the Blues in spite of 3:21 on the PP. Malkin's imminent return will knock someone out of the lineup, although the ongoing absence of Sheary and uncertainty about Hagelin's status should be enough to keep Guentzel in the NHL for a while longer. With 21 goals and 21 assists in 33 games this season, he has nothing left to prove in the AHL, while 4Gs and 4As in 14 NHL games so far proves he can play with the big boys. Mark Allan
January 2017 – The swift, opportunistic scorer was an obvious choice to be an AHL all-star after compiling 21 goals and 21 assists in 33 first-half games.The former U of Nebraska-Omaha scoring star is ready for the big time based on his scoring, illustrated by seven points in 11 NHL games earlier this season. It's tough to crack the Pittsburgh lineup because the system is so loaded up front, but Guentzel is a keeper who will get his chance in the near future. Mark Allan
November 2016 – Guentzel made the most of a callup from the AHL, scoring the first two goals of the game in a 5-2 Pittsburgh loss to the Rangers. Playing on a line with Evgeni Malkin and Phil Kessel, the versatile young forward beat Antti Raanta on the first shot of his first big-league shift. Leading WBS with 17 points in 16 AHL games, the sniping Guentzel had five shots on goal and added four hits against New York. His 15:38 of icetime included only 35 seconds of PP time, which could change if he keeps displaying his nose for the net. He could also make it hard for Pittsburgh to send him back down even after LW Chris Kunitz returns from IR. Mark Allan
November 2016 – Guentzel continues to shine in the AHL, leading Wilkes-Barre/Scranton with seven points (including two goals) in seven games. With its unparalled depth up front, Pittsburgh continues to thrive rolling four lines with its stars scoring and its young players contributing. There isn't any room on the NHL roster at the moment but Guentzel will be the first callup in case of injuries or prolonged slump. Mark Allan
October 2016 – Guentzel did not sulk after being sent to the AHL to begin the 2016-17 season. In his first game, he had a goal, three assists, three shots on goal, and was plus-3. He's addressed one of his few flaws by increasing his weight from 168 to 180 pounds, which doesn't seem to have affected his skating. Pittswburgh head coach Mike Sullivan has decided to use Scott Wilson as Evgeni Malkin's RW as well as employing Conor Sheary with Chris Kunitz with the double-shifted Malkin. Once day-to-day Sidney Crosby returns from a concussion, Sheary is expected to be his LW and Wilson will likely remain with Malkin. Guentzel will be one of the first players called up by Pittsburgh, if not the first, especially if there's a top-six injury or Wilson or Sheary are unproductive. Mark Allan
October 2016 – In a minor surprise, the swift forward was demoted to Wilkes-Barre/Scranton. Guentzel opened eyes with 14 points in 10 AHL playoff games last season, although he remains undersized. The move increases the chances Scott Wilson will make Pittsburgh's NHL roster to start the season, but Guentzel is just a phone call away from a promotion. Mark Allan
June 2016 – Five goals and nine assists for 14 points in 10 Calder Cup games established the speedster's ability to produce offense in the AHL after an 11-game, six-point audition late in the regular season once he had completed his junior season at the University of Nebraska-Omaha. He improved his points total each season with the Mavericks, and his pro career is trending upward, although it's a small sample so far. Guentzel's game is built on speed, but continuing to play bigger than his small frame and showing occasional feistiness will please Pittsburgh manangement. Mark Allan
May 2016 – Pittsburgh rewarded Guentzel for his impressive play in the AHL playoffs with a three-year, entry-level contract. On a show-me amateur tryout basis, the 21-year-old followed six points in 11 regular-season games with Wilkes-Barre/Scranton with five goals and nine assists in 10 games for the second-highest points total in the league after the first two rounds. He also demonstrated good timing, assisting on Carter Rowney's OT score in the first post-season game for WBS and clinching the series against Providence with his own OT winner. Guentzel plays much bigger than his size, which he will have to keep doing if he wants to reach the NHL. He helps his odds by pleasing coaches by using his high hockey IQ, vision, puck skills and speed to generate offense while being responsible defensively in all three zones. He even plays with a little jam in his game. Mark Allan
January 2016 – Building on the scoring touch he displayed in his first two hockey-playing university seasons, Guentzel has filled out a bit and is on pace for career stats at the University of Nebraska-Omaha. After 19 games, he has 10 goals and 27 points, throwing in plus-15 for good measure.
August 2015 – Guentzel parlayed a hot start in his sophomore season with the University of Nebraska-Omaha to lead his team in points, finishing in a sixth-place tie in the NCHC with 39 points in 36 games, including 14 goals, 16 power-play points, two shorthanded assists, one game-winning goal and a plus-10 rating. If he wants to make the NHL, he will have to prove (as little guys always do) that he can also produce at the pro level. Mark Allan
October 2014 – The pint-sized center-left winger is off to a hot start in his second season with the NCAA’s University of Nebraska-Omaha. With four goals and five assists in the Mavericks’ first four games, Guentzel is displaying the elevated hockey IQ that led Pittsburgh to draft him 77th overall in 2013. Mark Allan
April 2014 - Jake Guentzel put up a terrific rookie season for the University of Nebraska-Omaha. He tallied 27 assists and 34 points in 37 games. He made quite a tandem with fellow Penguins prospect Josh Archibald on the powerplay, and he might get that chance again in the future. Next season will be a big year developmentally for Guemtzel, as he will be the center of attention for opposing teams. His play-making is a huge asset for UNO, and his defensive game is still a big part of Jake's effectiveness. Guentzel will continue to add weight to his slight frame over the offseason. Seth Brisendine
July, 2013 – Jake Guentzel is a two-way center that has very good hockey sense and great anticipation skills. Guentzel won USHL rookie of the year honors with the Sioux City Musketeers this past season by scoring 29 goals and assisting on 44 others. He has a slight frame, yet it seems it hasn’t slowed his progress so far. It will be the main factor holding him back from a successful hockey career. Jake will join the University of Nebraska-Omaha in the fall.
Having nothing left to prove in the AHL, Guentzel scored five post-season winners while being a prominent member of Pittsburgh's second straight Stanley Cup champion. A bright NHL future awaits.
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