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After being added to the roster as an injury replacement, Brendan Guhle had an excellent showing at the CHL top prospects game as he was rated fifth overall in the combine and on-ice testing done at the event. This display showed the natural talent that had become evident to those who had watched him during a breakout season with the Prince Albert Raiders in the WHL. Guhle put up five goals and 32 points in 72 games for the Raiders this season, being one of the bright lights on a rebuilding club. He got better as the season went on and really came on in the second half of the year, showing the type of two way play that was expected out of him when the Raiders made Guhle the third overall pick in the 2012 WHL Draft. Guhle took over as the team’s number one offensive option on the blue line and really blossomed after the trade of Josh Morrissey to the Kelowna Rockets. In January 2014, Guhle was an alternate captain with Team Western Canada at the Under 17 World Hockey Challenge.
Defense — shoots Left
Born Jul 29 1997 — Sherwood Park, ALTA
Height 6.02 — Weight 184 [188 cm/83 kg]
Brendan Guhle is a very strong skater. He has excellent speed and acceleration in both directions. This allows him to pinch down low, or to join the rush, and still be able to get back defensively. He also has very good pivots and edgework, allowing him to maintain good gap control, and making him hard to beat to the outside. If there is a criticism to his skating, it is that he lacks lower body strength which takes away from his balance and power. He loses battles along the boards and is not strong enough on the puck right now. These aspects can definitely improve though as he adds core strength in the coming years.
Brenda Guhle is a strong offensive defenceman. His strong skating is combined with good puckhandling skills making him someone who can lead the rush. He is also willing to join as a trailer, and a good array of shooting skills make him dangerous in this position, or at the point on the powerplay. He has a very hard slapshot and an excellent one-timer. He also utilizes a good wrist shot and snap shot, both of which feature a quick release. His ability to vary his shots, where he shoots from, and a willingness to go to both sides of the net and high or low all make him difficult to defend. He uses his agility to open up passing and shooting lanes, and can control the play and quarterback things from the point.
When he is on his game, Brendan Guhle appears to be very strong in his own end. He can skate the puck out of the forecheck, and make a good first pass in order to start the transition game. Guhle also has solid positioning and funnels attackers to the outside off the rush. He can throw a big hit from time to time, but does not go chasing said hits and get himself out of position to do so. He does need to work on his consistency though. He can sometimes lose coverage, or make a silly giveaway that take away from all the good things he does. Correcting those issues with coaching and maturity will go a long way. Another issue he has is again one based on needing to add strength to his frame, as this will help him to win more board battles and clear the front of the net.
Guhle has the potential to be a top four defenceman, and to play on the powerplay for his team if he can reach his potential. However there is a bit of development necessary here, and the team that drafts him will need to have some patience. Guhle’s game is reminiscent of Nathan Beaulieu of the Montreal Canadiens, though this is a style comparison and not one based on talent.
Below are some videos of Guhle in action.
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