This year, if Jake Guentzel scores like he did last year, the Penguins will continue to have one of the biggest bargains in hockey.
Here's betting he'll score 40 again.
Guentzel scored 33 even strength goals last year. That’s an absurd figure. How absurd?
It’s the same amount of goals that Alex Ovechkin scored at even strength. In fact, Guentzel was third in the NHL behind Patrick Kane and John Tavares in that category.
I think Jake has a great feel for the game. He’s got tremendous chemistry with Crosby. He’s tenacious in front of the net.
Even so, it’s hard for me to think that he can have THAT many goals again at evens. That’s so difficult to do.
Here’s why I think he’ll score 40: He figures to be on the top power play all season long. He was 193rd in PP ice time last year in the entire National Hockey League. The guy who scored 40 goals only scored 6 on the man advantage.
He played just 2:07 a game on the PP. Other 40/50 goal scorers played upwards of four and a half minutes.
It serves to reason that Jake Guentzel won’t be AS productive five on five. That’s a hard thing to replicate.
BUT, if he still puts up good numbers at even strength, I think the added power play time is going to help the dude score 40 goals again.
He's going to be just as productive. I just expect him to do it a bit differently.