Season Stats: 18 GP | 0 G | 5 A | 5 PTS
Contract Status: Signed through 2019-20, $925,000 AAV (rookie maximum)
Before a bit of lottery luck possibly changed the Buffalo Sabres’ future forever, Brendan Guhle was widely regarded as the Sabres’ top defensive prospect in the farm system. Drafted in the second round (51st overall) in the 2015 NHL Draft by former General Manager Tim Murray, Guhle played three games in the 2016-17 season as an emergency recall, before finally making the jump permanently this season to the Rochester Americans, where he logged 8 goals and 18 assists in 50 AHL games.
The 20-year-old then came up to Buffalo for the long haul in early March, logging just over 18 minutes a night with a smattering of power play and penalty killing time as well. While not an immediate wild success offensively like many fans had hoped, the youngster showed calm and composure when on the puck, including some nifty stickhandling moves as well.
Where Guhle really excelled though was with his speed, bringing some much needed acceleration to a slow and plodding Sabres side. He looked good in the advanced stats as well, behind only Sam Reinhart with a 51.37 Corsi score.
His game was not without mistakes though, but turnovers and bad positioning are to be expected for a player as young as he is. Getting a full preseason under his belt is certain to help the defenseman, as is the expected presence of Rasmus Dahlin who will take the pressure off a lot of the current defensive corps.
Season Grade: B
In lieu of one season highlight, instead enjoy this Amerks-made highlights video of the young defenseman.
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