|Photo Credit: Pittsburgh-Post Gazette|
Jake Guentzel has only played six NHL games, but he has already made an impact. After playing five games for the Pens last in November, Guentzel was recalled by the team a few days ago and deserves a shot at an extended stay with the team.
During his first stint in the NHL, he scored two goals in his first game - including a goal on his first shot.
Here's the video:
Guentzel has had at least a point in all but two of his six NHL games, all while averaging 13:15 of ice time. With a total of roughly 80 NHL minutes played, which equates to four full periods of hockey, his 3 goals and 2 assists are impressive.
Here are his complete stats (as of 1/18/17)
His offensive potential is substantial, after dominating the AHL this season for the Wilkes-Barre Scranton Penguins (WBS) and being named an AHL All-Star. In 33 games played for WBS, Guentzel has a stat line of 21g/21a/42pts. He's currently ranked as 2nd in the AHL in points, behind former Penguin draft pick Kenny Agostino's 51 - and Guentzel has played eight fewer games.
Guentzel is still tied for the AHL lead in goals with Greg Carey, despite playing four fewer games.
In my opinion, he's earned the right for an extended stay in the NHL, as beating up on lesser talent isn't going to help him progress much further. Players grow through challenge and adversity, and Guentzel has earned the right to prove himself among the world's best players.
His time has come because he's earned it. Let's see what he does with the opportunity.
Lee C.J. Sobotka is a contributor here at Pens Initiative and manages our side project Pittsburgh Sports Initiative.
You can follow him on Twitter: @LCJS and PSI on Twitter: @PGH_Initiative and Facebook