Dylan Guenther will be suiting up this afternoon for the Arizona Coyotes as they begin their road trip against the Washington Capitals. It will be Guenther’s tenth game of the season, meaning the first year of his ELC is in the books.
This is one of those great days.— Arizona Coyotes (@ArizonaCoyotes) November 5, 2022
Dylan Guenther's family got to deliver the news that he's staying in the NHL. pic.twitter.com/feMHWWmZRq
The Coyotes decided to surprise Guenther by having his parents be the ones to tell him that he made it. Parents do so much to help players make it to the NHL, and it’s great to see how the Coyotes have valued family during this challenging rebuild.
If a player plays nine or fewer games on their entry-level contract, the deal can slide to the following season, allowing teams to keep players on the cheaper deal for longer. But as soon as they play their tenth game, they are locked in, and while the team could still send Guenther back, that first year is effectively gone.
But it is hard to say that Guenther hasn’t earned a right to stick around. In nine games with the Coyotes, he has two goals and six assists, and he is a big piece of the Coyotes’ offense. Admittedly, he isn’t the most consistent player, but the team as a whole is pretty inconsistent.
The fact that there was even a chance that Guenther would last after nine games is a testament to the hard work that Guenther has put in and how far he has grown since the Coyotes drafted him. Last season, Head Coach André Tourigny wanted to make sure he was there for the start of his Junior season, and he didn’t even get a look. But one year later, he’s earned a spot.
Deciding whether or not to send a player back to Juniors is always a tough choice. There are plenty of reasons why it is better for both the team and the player to be sent back to their other team, and more often than not, it is the right call. But the Coyotes think there is nothing else for Guenther with the Edmonton Oil Kings, and he is ready to take the next, and it is hard to argue with them.