We are less than a month away from the 2021 NHL Entry Draft (July 23-24), so it’s time to start researching the prospects likely to be selected in the first round. The Columbus Blue Jackets currently hold three picks in that round: #5, #24, and #30 or #31.
Team: Edmonton Oil Kings (WHL)
Date of Birth: April 10, 2003
Birthplace: Edmonton, Alberta
Ranked #7 by CONSOLIDATED RANKING
Ranked #7 by ELITEPROSPECTS.COM
Ranked #8 by FCHOCKEY
Ranked #8 by NEUTRAL ZONE
Ranked #8 by MCKEEN’S HOCKEY
Ranked #7 by TSN/CRAIG BUTTON
Ranked #5 by NHL CENTRAL SCOUTING (NA Skaters)
Ranked #5 by SPORTSNET’S
Ranked #12 by DOBBERPROSPECTS
Ranked #5 by DRAFT PROSPECTS HOCKEY
Ranked #8 by SMAHT SCOUTING
Ranked #12 by THE PUCK AUTHORITY
Ranked #2 by TSN/McKenzie
Games Played: 12
Games Played: 58
Described as an “Impact player with a high skill level,” Dylan Guenther has a toolkit that every team in the NHL can use. Guenther possesses a great shot and the ability to find the open ice to utilize it. His scouting reports jump off the page, which should make him especially enticing for a team that struggles to find the back of the net. Scouts seem to differ in their opinions regarding Guenther’s ceiling in the NHL, ranging from a true top-line talent and All-Star, to more of a second line scoring wing and complementary piece.
Guenther describes his own game as “honest,” which definitely seems like a Blue Jacket-ish trait, right? Craig Button even listed T.J. Oshie as his NHL comparison. He’s one of those players who wants the puck, and once he has it, is smart enough to read and react to defenses to make the right play. He’ll need some more time to develop with at least another year in the WHL before he’s ready to compete for an NHL spot.
There’s just no denying the potency of Guenther’s shot. Most of his releases are exploding forward into his shot, increasing power, control, and protecting from backpressure. And on top of that, Guenther has a real knack for finding soft-ice off of the puck. He’s always positioned to collect the biscuit in the soft parts of the offensive zone, a testament to his goalscorer’s savvy. -EliteProspects 2021 NHL Draft Guide
Guenther has a multi-faceted offensive package off the flank. Inside the offensive zone, his ability to handle the puck in traffic, play pucks into space, and shape and hide his shot all impress. In transition, he creates off the rush using quick crossovers to build speed and weave through neutral ice as a primary carrier. So he’s not only capable of transporting the puck and leading the rush, but he then has the offensive acumen to make things happen once the play slows down inside the offensive zone. Add in a dangerous mid-range wrist shot, good control of his inside and outside edges, the ability to shoot from a variety of stances and there’s a lot to like. - Scott Wheeler, The Athletic
Guenther is a forward with a lot of NHL attributes. He has great skill, and can make skilled plays through defenders and to teammates at an NHL pace. He can make some plays through seams while also having the shot to score from a distance. He has a lot of talent, but also works off the puck, forcing turnovers and playing in traffic, even if he’s not overly physical. In a sentence, Guenther may not be a true game breaker in the NHL, but he projects as a top-line forward who will endear himself to fans and coaches. - Corey Pronman, The Athletic
A skilled winger who wants the puck on his stick and knows what to do with it. He breaks down defensive schemes on the fly and attacks their weaknesses. - DobberProspects
Who do you consider your NHL comparable?
“I’d say probably Giroux. Although, watching [Mark] Scheifele playing against the Oilers in the playoffs, I really liked his game. He plays a solid, honest, two-way game. He can score goals and make plays, but also stop the other team’s best players so I really like the way he plays.” -Dylan Guenther