Skip to content
Kaiden Guhle could blossom offensively next season

The Montreal Canadiens’ 2022-2023 season was, all in all, a very painful and difficult one to follow.

It was already shaping up to be a difficult season even before it began, and that was before the hecatomy of injuries that really ruined it.

In short, it was a season to forget, but not in every respect.

Although a number of youngsters were injured and missed several games, the majority were still able to gain experience and show us some great things.

In fact, several players made their NHL debuts, especially on defense.

In all, five rookie defensemen played for the Canadiens last season.

Kaiden Guhle, Jordan Harris, Arber Xhekaj, Justin Barron and Johnathan Kovacevic.

As a result, the CH’s defensive brigade was very inexperienced, which was scary at first for the development of these same players.

Being thrown into the lion’s den is far from ideal.

However, without being perfect, these five defensive recruits have done more than well.

Especially in the case of Kaiden Guhle, who was placed in very difficult conditions throughout the season.

He was used like a veteran, even though he was only a rookie.

The craziest part is that Guhle’s stats were better when he was with one of the other rookies on a pair, rather than with one of the veterans, either David Savard or Joel Edmundson.

Indeed, this is what Marc Dumont analyzed and explained in one of his recent articles, which I strongly urge you to read.

When Guhle was in the company of David Savard (his most regular partner) or Joel Edmundson, Guhle’s numbers were pretty mediocre.

In terms of numbers, Dumont uses the percentage of controlled shots (CF%), the percentage of expected goals (xGF%) and the percentage of high-danger shots (HDCF%).

Broadly speaking, Guhle’s numbers rose considerably in all three statistics when paired with Jordan Harris or Johnathan Kovacevic.

These increases vary between 20% and 30% for each of the stats, which is simply enormous.

The conclusion to be drawn from all this is that Guhle has been placed in very difficult conditions with David Savard and Joel Edmundson, and will therefore benefit much more from being paired with another partner – the right partner.

This would allow Guhle to exploit his greatly underrated offensive game to the full.

Guhle’s numbers with Harris and Kovacevic undoubtedly demonstrate that, with the right partner, Guhle could blossom offensively as early as next season.

The 21-year-old defender has real offensive potential that remains untapped until now.

If he’s surrounded by the right people, and his partner complements him well, Guhle will find himself in a situation where he can express himself more offensively, and thus achieve offensive production and numbers (CF%, xGF% and HDCF%) worthy of a player who can become a first-pair defenseman.

To find out more, here’s Marc Dumont’s excellent article.

En Rafale

– And to think we thought the Panthers paid too much.

– Many players still without contract.

– What do you think?

– Ouch.

– All the better.

More Content