3 ways Jake Guentzel helps the Carolina Hurricanes in their quest for the Stanley Cup

The Carolina Hurricanes struck gold when they added Jake Guentzel in a blockbuster trade with the Pittsburgh Penguins on Thursday night.
Pittsburgh Penguins v Minnesota Wild
Pittsburgh Penguins v Minnesota Wild / Nick Wosika/GettyImages
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Guentzel’s sneaky good defensive play should shine in Raleigh

When you read about Jake Guentzel, everyone will tell you how good he is when his team has possession of the puck. And while offense is what most of the hockey universe knows Guentzel for, let’s take a minute and talk about how he can help the Hurricanes when they don’t have the puck. 

For one, Guentzel was sixth on the Penguins in defensive point shares at 1.6, second to Sidney Crosby among forwards. This shows just how much he’s contributed to the team winning games not only with his play on offense, but also what he had done when Pittsburgh didn’t have the puck. 

Carolina also isn’t the most physical hockey team, but Guentzel, despite logging just 36 hits at the time of his injury, finished at least one check per game in the past. This is something the Hurricanes will need as “playoff hockey” heats up not in April, but during those tight races in March. 

Guentzel will engage in puck battles if he can’t outright take it away (106 takeaways dating back to the 2021-22 season and just over a half-takeaway per game). Therefore, the Hurricanes didn’t just get a good player to help them score, as Guentzel has more than shown he’s no liability on defense. 


(Statistics provided by Hockey-Reference)