After a blockbuster trade that saw Captain Oliver Ekmann-Larsson and fan favorite Conor Garland shipped off to Vancouver, the Coyotes made their way back in to the first round of the 2021 NHL Entry Draft with the 9th overall selection.
General Manager Bill Armstrong, who is running a Coyotes draft for the first time, decided to select Dylan Guenther, 18, a right-handed winger who most recently played with the Edmonton Oli Kings of the WHL.
According to SN Nation’s own All About the Jersey: “Dylan Guenther is a highly-skilled dual-threat winger coming out of the WHL who projects to be one of the top forwards in the 2021 Draft. Guenther, a native of Edmonton, Alberta, has played just about all of his hockey up to this point for teams right near his hometown, including the last two seasons with the WHL’s Edmonton Oil Kings. Guenther put up a stellar performance for a 16-year old in his draft-minus-one season scoring over a point per game in 2019-20 and he shined in a highly abbreviated 2021 WHL season, putting up an extraordinary 2.0 points per game, albeit in a fairly small 12-game sample. Guenther also represented his country at this spring’s U18 World Junior Championships, helping lead Canada to a gold medal.”
Guenther said in a recent blog post for Hockey Canada that he continued to prepare for the COVID delayed season through creative means: “The pandemic caused a lot of uncertainty. The rinks were closed for a while before my season with the Oil Kings started, so I had to be creative to find ways to continue to get better. I did a lot of that work on my own in my basement. Shooting has been a strong point for me and I have worked hard on it. We have a pretty good area in my basement for me to shoot pucks, and I’m still down there every day shooting and trying to improve my shot even more. Outdoor rinks were also great for me. area few guys who were around Edmonton and my former coach would meet up outdoors to run practices on the ice and play games to stay in shape. The extended off-season also helped me work on my overall strength. I was always a taller, lankier kid so I have struggled to put on weight and size. There is still a long way to go, but I was able to really improve on that and get stronger.”
Coyotes fans should be excited to see such a dedicated and skilled shooter develop for the team.