Monday, May 21, 2018

Impressions of, and questions concerning--D, Brendan Guhle

Published by, 5-20-2018

Defenseman--Brendan Guhle
DOB:  July 29, 1997 (Age, 20)
Draft:  2015, second round (51st overall)
How acquired:  Drafted by Buffalo
Last contract signed:  July 27, 2015, 3yr./$2.775 million (2yr. Entry-level slide)
Final year of contract: 2019-20

2017-18 Stats:  18 games played | 0 goals | 5 assists | 5 points | -6 | 18:06 ATOI

Buffalo Career Stats:  21 games | 0 goals | 5 assists | 5 points | -5 | 17:51 ATOI

What we wrote preseason:  Guhle just keeps on turning heads every time he hits the ice in Buffalo dating back to his first training camp in 2015 when he looked to have made the team, or at least had a nine-game audition, prior to an injury. He played three games for Buffalo last season and never looked out of place and had a glorious Prospects Challenge Tournament. Of all the youngins, he may have the best shot at making the club.

What we wrote mid-season:  N/A

Impressions on his play this year:  With a backlog of defenders in Buffalo, and with the organization wanting him to log big, all-situations minutes in Rochester, Guhle didn't get the call to Buffalo until January 9. And that was despite cries by the fan base for relief from the horror show on defense that featured the likes of Matt Tennyson and Zach Redmond getting the call first.

When Guhle got the call to Buffalo he had seven goals and 20 points in 35 games for a resurgent Rochester Americans squad. An injury and the Sabres bye week put him back in Rochester after a two game stint but he was recalled again on March 4.

The Sherwood Park, Alberta Canada was drafted in the second round with former Sabres GM Tim Murray mentioning his athleticism and skating ability amongst Guhle's dominant traits, and he had them on display throughout his rookie pro campaign. Guhle has the skills, the skating and at 6'2" 192 lbs., the size, to be a part of the defense-corps in Buffalo and have an impact as well.

Guhle had a rough go of it after being sent back to Rochester for the Calder Cup playoffs and some have implied that the toxic environment in Buffalo may have harmed him, which is a possibility. Then again he did sustain an upper-body injury and that could also be a contributing factor as to why he had zero points and was a minus-6 as the Amerks were swept out of the playoffs in three games.

But he did seem to learn a valuable lesson. After being ousted by a superior Syracuse Crunch (TBL) team, Guhle told the gathered media, "Sometimes you can't be hopping in the rush every single shift. Sometimes it's just not there. You can't force it because then they're going to make you pay. Against teams like this that track hard and have good offensive players, you've got to be careful sometimes and you've got to worry about playing defense first."

Questions moving forward:  What really caused that playoff performance? Will what he learned during his first pro season translate into a strong training camp? Where does he land on the Sabres depth chart with the likely addition of Rasmus Dahlin? Which is better for his long-term development next season, a third-pairing role in Buffalo or another year as a top-pairing defender in Rochester? Will his waiver-exempt status have an effect on what happens to him?

Contract info via CapFriendly, stats via and hockey

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