Dylan Guenther and Logan Cooley are two of the most highly touted prospects in the Arizona Coyotes system. Both of them had impressive outings recently at the World Juniors. Logan Cooley, playing for Team USA, and Dylan Guenther playing for Team Canada. Going into the tournament, both Arizona Coyotes prospects were expected to have significant roles with their respective teams.
As it turns out, they did. Now let’s assess how both of them did during this thrilling tournament.
Arizona Coyotes Prospects World Juniors Review
Logan Cooley had high expectations going into this season. Being drafted third overall by the Arizona Coyotes and passing up on Shane Wright, many thought this might be a regret based on Wright’s hype.
But Cooley showed his elite playmaking ability with the USNTDP (United States National Team Development Program). This is where we saw him score 27 goals adding another 48 assists.
Cooley then went to the University of Minnesota, where he continues to play at a high level. He currently has 27 points in 21 games with the Gophers, showing off his elusiveness and high IQ. Fast-forward to today, let’s dive into how he played at the World Juniors.
Cooley Shines in World Juniors
Regardless of the level of hockey, Cooley has always had a touch to his game that has separated him from others.
Coming into this tournament, the majority of people knew he was going to have a big role with the team. During the seven games Team USA played, Cooley scored seven goals and recorded seven assists.
The Pittsburgh native was the focal point of Team USA’s offence. He had the most points on the team and the second-most among all players throughout the tournament. Cooley was able to live up to the moment with big-time goals, such as this one against Canada in the semifinals to open the scoring.
The quick recovery for the goal 👌
The celly 🙌#WorldJuniors pic.twitter.com/fKBkZXgUtx
— USA Hockey (@usahockey) January 4, 2023
Cooley is a dynamic player. When he has the puck on his stick, you instantly notice him because of his high-end speed, skill and offensive IQ.
Cooley showed off his creativity throughout the tournament, making plays and opportunities out of thin air to make something happen.
“He’s probably one of the smartest players I’ve ever played with,” said USA defenseman Lane Hutson.”You see the way he skates, the way he moves. He’s always putting himself in the right spot, and on top of that, he’s just got some great speed. You can put him anywhere in the lineup, and he’s going to make everyone around him better.”
Dylan Guenther World Juniors Review
Similar to Cooley, Guenther had high expectations entering the tournament.
He impressed enough during the preseason and his first nine games to eventually earn a roster spot with the Coyotes. During his 21 games played, he has three goals and eight assists.
Before his time with the Coyotes, he played with the Edmonton Oil Kings of the WHL (Western Hockey League). That’s where he showed what he was capable of, totalling 83 goals and 91 assists in 129 games. With Team Canada being one of the most stacked teams in recent memory, it was hard to predict how Guenther’s tournament would go.
Guenther’s Maturity Displays at World Juniors
THE GOLDEN GOAL BY DYLAN GUENTHER! 🥇#WorldJuniors pic.twitter.com/VbbZQfTOV4
— Hockey Canada (@HockeyCanada) January 6, 2023
Guenther has been labelled a sharpshooter and can score anywhere on the ice. He showed this throughout with his terrific slap shot. Being one of the only NHL-experienced players in the tournament, he did the little things right to give Canada that much more of an edge.
After scoring the biggest goal of his young career, this is what he had to say. “Words can’t describe this,” Guenther said after. “It was a lot of fun. You never know when you’re going to get the opportunity to win again. To be here with this team, and play in front of these fans, it couldn’t have ended better.”
Guenther was recalled on January 6, so let’s hope this level of confidence can carry over back to the NHL.
The Coyotes’ general manager has to feel good about these two performances. With both of these players potentially being full-time NHL players next year, this was a great sign.
Cooley and Guenther both had their own set of hat tricks as well, both proving they could score anywhere on the ice. Overall these two have shown the world that the Coyotes’ future is exceptionally bright and that there is no slowing down. Let’s hope we can see Cooley on the Coyotes roster at this time next year, maybe even on a line with Dylan Guenther!
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