Pittsburgh Penguins: Jake Guentzel is a Player to Watch in 2017-18 Season

NASHVILLE, TN - JUNE 05: Jake Guentzel
NASHVILLE, TN - JUNE 05: Jake Guentzel /

Jake Guentzel is going to be huge for the Pittsburgh Penguins next season. The 22-year-old is going to have a solid season and is definitely a player to watch as the regular season rolls around.

Jake Guentzel made a big splash in his first season as a Pittsburgh Penguin. The 22-year-old was a standout for the Penguins in his debut and he has a lot more to offer. Guentzel is definitely one of the Pens’ most prominent players to watch.

Guentzel is a solid winger and center with a lot to offer. He was drafted 77th overall in the 2013 draft and notched extremely well and competitive stats at the University of Nebraska-Omaha.

Last Season’s Success

Last season, Guentzel split his time between Wilkes-Barre/Scranton, the Pens’ AHL-affiliate, and Pittsburgh; he posted incredibly impressive stats on each team. In 33 games in the AHL, Guentzel posted 21 goals and 42 points. Once in the NHL, Guentzel produced another 16 goals and 33 points in 40 games.

Guentzel’s success didn’t end there; he exceeded expectations with a strong playoff performance. The 22-year-old ranked fourth for his 21 points and led the team with 13 goals in the Penguins’ playoff victory.

Guentzel set the record for most points in the postseason from an American-born rookie and ranked second all-time in goals for a rookie in a single postseason.

Guentzel’s huge success in his Penguins debut is predictive of what he will be able to do next season. He exceeded expectations already and his second year is sure to impress people all over again.

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Player to Watch: Jake Guentzel

Currently, Guentzel is giving his all in the Da Beauty League and recently led his team, TRIA, to a 10-5 win against RBC. Guentzel led the team with a five-point performance in the team’s third consecutive win.

Guentzel is still putting his full play on display through the offseason. He’s practicing, working out and performing. His performance in Da Beauty League is strongly noted and proves that his determination isn’t wavering in the offseason.

Guentzel is a good skater and an excellent play-maker. He is gifted with strong offensive talent and plays just as strong on the wing than he does in center. The 22-year-old has the potential to post incredible numbers whether he’s on the fourth line or playing alongside Sidney Crosby on the first.

Despite his age, Guentzel is very hockey-wise and his hockey IQ helps elevate his play alongside players who have more experience. His production is unstoppable and was unexpected when he arrived in the league. He has repeatedly exceeded expectations with nothing but his determination and talent.

Now, Guentzel has a year of professional hockey under his belt. He is ready to take his play to a new level despite performing so incredibly well thus far.

This Season

The Pens are looking for another season of elite play to have another extremely competitive season. Guentzel won’t be a player to have a sophomore slump and he’s only getting started.

Guentzel is going to have a big season for the Pens as they chase their third consecutive Stanley Cup. Every season the Pens find new incredible talent and Guentzel is out to prove he’s even better than we’ve previously thought.

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Expect this 22-year-old to post numbers just as big as he did last season. Now, Guentzel will have the opportunity to spend the entire season with the Penguins and it will benefit his play in an entirely new way.

He is very talented, used to the Pens’ system and ready to have a blowout performance in his first full season. He is sure to exceed expectations again, just as he did last season.