Is Jake Guentzel Elite?

Last night Guentzel single handedly knocked me out of the playoffs of my Fantasy Hockey League (FHL). He had a goal and a last minute helper against the Bruins to start my summer vacation a little early. Luckily this league was an auto-draft and was kind of shunned by me all season since I didn’t respect that my team wasn’t personally picked. I’m in the semi-finals for my other leagues and expect to win both. But enough about me and my personal fantasy hockey accomplishments, which there are many.

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Jake Guentzel scored his 34th of the season last night and his 30th even strength goal. He is second in the league in even strength goals which is incredible. Only Patrick Kane and John Tavares are ahead of him, both of which have 31. It is also worth noting that Alex Ovechkin has 30. I’m not really sure what this all means in terms of Guentzel. He has clearly proven himself in this league, but I do think that this stat is something to recognize. He is with elite company and being able to produce this much on 5v5 has to be a statistician’s dream come true. Jake is still 4th on the team in points (34,31,65) and should have no problem hitting 70+ points on the season. I’m sure who he is surrounded with has a lot to do with this stat, but still. This is impressive for a player that gets overlooked and overshadowed by the bigger names, so here’s a little stick tap for you Jake.

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Next year Jake’s 5 year contract kicks in (5 year, 30 million). He has a cap hit of 6 million per season. If he keeps his output at 75 points a year and scoring 35-40 goals a year, that will be a very nice contract for the Penguins. I do think that the Pens will shed either Malkin/Kessel, or maybe both, in years to come. They have Crosby for another run of 5-7 years (of elite status) so they will have to re-tool in order get some more cups. Guentzel will a very nice piece for when that happens. So I guess I’m still not sure whether or not this kid is elite. I’m going to safely say that he isn’t just yet, but it moving towards that direction.

-Papa Whales

PS: I am so happy for the Penguins and Guentzel. It must be nice to churn these types of players out every couple years. Maybe one day good things could happen to the Rangers….but hey, I still have 94!

 

 

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