Kaiden Guhle, LHD, Prince Albert Raiders (WHL)
18-year-old Kaiden Guhle is a native of Sherwood Park, Alberta, Canada. The young defenseman had a rather impressive draft year, posting 40 points this season with the Prince Albert Raiders, including WHL career highs of 11 goals and 29 assists. This was a large jump in offensive production from a mere 17 points just a season before. And, if the name sounds familiar, you would be correct. Kaiden is the younger brother of Anaheim Ducks defensive prospect, Brendan Guhle.
While the Anaheim Ducks have a plethora of left-handed defenseman, they have shown that they’re willing to forego traditional roles if the need arises. Guhle’s skill set, should he still be available, could possibly be worth drafting another left-handed d-man. Projected to go anywhere between 14th and 28th overall, there is a possibility he could still be available depending on the direction other teams go with their draft picks.
Guhle has been praised as a two-way defenseman, although more notably for his defensive skills. One-on-one play seems to be the bread and butter of his defensive game. Scouts have praised his footspeed, stick positioning, and his excellent gap-control. He has quick decision-making skills and his feet are always moving. While these are all great qualities, what may be the icing on the cake for Murray is Guhle’s willingness and ability to be aggressive.
Kaiden has a pretty well-rounded game, however. He has an incredibly accurate shot, which yields lots of power, allowing him to generate many offensive opportunities. His passing is a notable skill, as he is able to make smooth passes under any circumstances, something the Anaheim Ducks desperately need in their system.
Another skill Guhle possesses that would make him a great fit for the Ducks is his impact on special teams. It is no secret that Anaheim has struggled on both the power play and penalty kill over the past few seasons, and Guhle has been a key piece to the Raiders’ successful special teams. With Guhle on their team, the Raiders have ranked near the top of the WHL in special teams over the last two seasons.
Kaiden has all the tools to potentially be a top-pairing defenseman in the NHL one day. Plus, wouldn’t it be great to have another set of brothers dressed as Anaheim Ducks? Shaping up to be one of the top defensive prospects of the draft, any other team would be a fool not to draft him if they were to draft in the middle or at the end of the first round. However, should the stars align, and he’s still available, Bob Murray should seriously consider Guhle with the latter of his first-round picks.