The 2021/22 season is fast approaching, so here at Five For Howling, we’re taking a look at this year’s Arizona Coyotes 25 best players under the age of 25.
The Arizona Coyotes didn’t have a pick in the first round of the 2021 NHL Entry Draft due to an issue with illegal combine testing. But the team seemed poised to start a massive rebuild, so it wasn’t too surprising that they would be looking to upgrade.
But I don’t think anyone was expecting the move that they made. The Coyotes traded their captain Oliver Ekman-Larsson and star forward Conor Garland to the Vancouver Canucks for a 2021 first and seventh-round pick, a 2022 second-round pick, Jay Beagle, Loui Eriksson, and Antoine Roussel. And with that first-round pick, the Arizona Coyotes selected forward Dylan Guenther.
20/21 League: AJHL (Crusaders), WHL (Oil Kings)
Games played: 4, 12
Goals: 3, 12
Assists: 2, 12
World Juniors games: 7
World Juniors goals: 4
World Juniors assists: 3
Highest rating: 3
Lowest rating: 5
Last year’s rankings: Not Ranked
Guenther has had a solid career in juniors, with his shot being one of the most impressive aspects of his game. He was a top 10 prospect on every available list for the NHL draft, and most people seemed to expect him to be gone by the time the Coyotes drafted ninth.
Like almost every player drafted in 2021, Covid-19 significantly affected Dylan Guenther’s season. He split his time with the Sherwood Park Crusaders in the AJHL, with his regular juniors team, the Edmonton Oil Kings, and with Team Canada at the World Juniors. He was successful everywhere he went, finished with at least a point-per-game pace in all three situations, and won gold with Team Canada.
Coyotes fans went from zero to sixty with the team drafting such a dynamic young player, and the hype didn’t stop there. Guenther was a standout player at the Black and White rookie scrimmage and during the subsequent Rookie Faceoff Tournament. He showed a phenomenal shot and was a consistent goalscorer for the organization.
Dylan Guenther: even better than advertised. pic.twitter.com/rd7S7jPmgj— Arizona Coyotes (@ArizonaCoyotes) September 18, 2021
And things didn’t stop once the veterans showed up at camp. Guenther played two preseason games with the Coyotes, with his first game against the Los Angeles Kings being the best showcase of his talents. He was involved in both Coyotes’ goals, recording a secondary assist on Eriksson’s game-tying goal and scoring the game-winner. After that, he was a bit quieter against the Anaheim Ducks, being held pointless and playing 10:16.
Yesterday was probably the biggest swerve for most Coyotes’ fans, with the announcement that Guenther was one of the first cuts to the training camp roster. Guenther’s time with the Coyotes is over, and he was being reassigned back to the Oil Kings.
The Oil Kings start their season tonight, but Guenther will not be in the opening lineup. Per Craig Morgan, the Oil Kings’ coach Brad Lauer has stated that Guenther will not be playing tonight, but he will be in tomorrow’s game.
The Arizona Coyotes seem to have found a special player in Dylan Guenther. The Coyotes have not had a pure goalscorer in so long, but that search may be over. Of course, Arizona needs to have patience and let Guenther grow and develop at his own pace. But given his standout performance at training camp, it may not be long before we see Guenther skating in the NHL full-time.