Jake Guentzel
Image: MN Hockey Hub

Jake Guentzel

Hometown:

Woodbury Minnesota

Currently Playing In:

Pro

Birthday:

1994-10-06

Position:

C

Eligible for draft:

2013

Shoots:

Left

Drafted:

2013

Height:

5-10

Acquired:

3rd round (77th overall), 2013

Weight:

167 lbs.

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History

2010-11: Jake Guentzel played for the Hill-Murray School in Maplewood, MN. In 25 games for that school, he scored 15 goals and added 28 assists for 43 points. In three playoff games, he scored 4 goals and chipped in 2 assists for 6 points. Guentzel also played 15 games for Team Northwest in the Upper Midwest High School Elite League (UMHSEL), scoring 6 goals and 5 assists for 11 points. He registered no points in 1 playoff game.

2011-12: Guentzel played 25 games for Hill-Murray, racking up 25 goals and 46 assists for 67 points. He scored 1 goal and chipped in 2 assists for 3 points in 3 playoff games. Guentzel again played in the UMHSEL, appearing in 21 games for Team Southeast. he scored 14 goals and added 27 assists for 41 points. He registered 3 assists in 3 playoff games. Guentzel committed to the University of Nebraska-Omaha during the off-season.

2012-13: Guentzel moved over the to the USHL to play for the Sioux City Musketeers. In 60 games for that club, he scored 29 goals and added 44 assists for 73 points. Guentzel was named a USHL Second Team All-Star for 2012-13, and was also named to the 2012-13 USHL All-Rookie Team. He will attend UNO starting in the fall of 2013. Guentzel was ranked 80th amongst North American skaters in the Central Scouting final rankings and was selected by Pittsburgh in the third round (77th overall) in the 2013 NHL Draft.

2013-14: Guentzel skated in all 37 games for Nebraska-Omaha as a freshman and was the team’s third-leading scorer. Skating on a line with the Mavericks’ top two scorers — juniors Josh Archibald (PIT) and Dominic Zombo — he scored 7 goals with 27 assists (sharing the team lead with Ryan Walters). Nebraska-Omaha finished third in the National College Hockey Conference in the conference’s inaugural season before falling to sixth-place Denver in a best-of-three quarterfinal series. 

2014-15: Jake Guentzel led the University of Nebraska-Omaha in scoring as a sophomore as the Mavericks advanced to the Frozen Four semifinals. Skating in 36 of 39 games, he scored 14 goals with 25 assists and was +10 with 34 penalty minutes. The Mavericks finished third in the NCHC, receiving an at-large bid to the NCAA Midwest Regional after being swept by St. Cloud State in the NCHC quarterfinals. UN-O defeated Harvard (4-1) and RIT (4-0) to win the Midwest Regional before falling 4-1 to eventual national champion Providence in the Frozen Four semifinals.

2015-16: Guentzel made his pro hockey debut following his junior season at Nebraska-Omaha — signing an amateur tryout contract with the AHL’s Wilkes-Barre/Scranton Penguins. In 11 regular season games with the Penguins he scored 2 goals with 4 assists and was -1 with no penalties. The Penguins finished third in the Atlantic Division, sweeping Providence in a first-round series to face Hershey in the Atlantic Division finals. In his first five playoff games Guentzel scored 3 goals with 5 assists and was +2, leading the team with eight points. Guentzel scored 19 goals with 27 assists and was +6 with 20 penalty minutes in 35 games in his final season of college hockey. The Mavericks finished sixth in the NCHC and were swept by Denver in the conference quarterfinals. 

Talent Analysis

Guentzel is an undersized, yet highly skilled forward who possesses a hockey IQ. The biggest knock on him has been his size, but Guentzel possesses the requisite skill, speed, and grit to play a top-nine role in the NHL. He is a particularly effective player off the rush, and uses his speed and vision to create offensive plays. He will need to add considerable strength before he gets to the point where he can contribute to the NHL level, but he has the skill and hockey sense to one day make an impact.

Future

Guentzel skated for the University of Nebraska-Omaha in 2015-16 before signing an amateur tryout contract with the AHL's Wilkes-Barre/Penguins in March following the Mavericks' season. The Penguins' leading playoff scorer through five games, he is likely to sign an entry-level deal with Pittsburgh once the season ends. The son of long-time junior and college coach Mike Guentzel, he projects as a scoring center who is aware in all three zones of the ice.

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