With the NHL Draft coming up quickly, on July 23-24, LAKI takes a deep dive into the possible options for the Kings at their No. 8 draft position in the first round.
Height – 6’1”
Weight – 181 Lbs
From – Edmonton, Alberta, Canada
DOB – April 10, 2003
2021-22 Season – Edmonton Oil Kings (12 games, 12-12=24)
Position – Right Wing/Left Wing
Dylan Guenther is the definition of elusive. In the offensive zone he is slippery with the puck and hard to defend without the puck. In transition, Guenther is even more lethal. Offensively, Guenther has the complete package. With the ability to score in any facet, find time, open space and open teammates for opportunities, Guenther is a good-looking offensive prospect.
In the limited WHL season, Guenther recorded 24 points (12-12=24) in 12 games. His two points per game led the WHL in PPG, among players who played in 10 or more games.
Raising his stock even more, Guenther is also good in the defensive zone. With a good understanding on the defensive side of the game, Guenther is positionally sound and has the hockey IQ to read plays and sniff out passes in his area. Although he does need to put on muscle and weight, he still has a mentality of not being afraid to go into the corners and battle.
What They’ve Said
On if he’s stronger creating offense with or without in offensive zone
I think both. I think being a guy who creates offense is a big strength in my game. I think it’s important to do both. Whether it’s getting a shot on net or getting open for a pass, they’re both important. When I have the puck on my stick, I’m a threat to shoot and score, but I can also pass and make plays. That’s a big part of my game.
On his hockey IQ
I think hockey IQ and scoring go hand-in-hand. I feel like I’m able to time the play and read them ahead of time, so that I know the position I need to be in to get my shot off or get into a scoring area. Being able to read what’s going to happen and where your teammates are going to be at really helps.
On how he handled not being able to play hockey during COVID-19 shutdowns
I was sitting at home for a long period of time where a lot of other countries and players continued to get better and play a normal season. I was unable to do that, so I had to find ways to continue to get better and work on my game. Those were definitely tough times, but I had to continue to push myself and I think I did a good job of that.
Bob McKenzie, TSN
Dylan Guenther [is a] goal-scoring shooter who is also quite adept at making plays and playing ultra-competitively in the hard areas around the net.
Sam Cosentino, Sportsnet
[Guenther] thinks the game at a high level and is constantly utilizing all resources to improve his game. While offense is what jumps out, the proficiency in his game extends the length of the ice.
Guenther is an off-puck specialist, constantly supporting his teammates through clever pathing all over the ice. This style of play projects very well towards the NHL and provides different developmental paths for whatever team that drafts him to mold him in.
Guenther is in line with the type of player that the Kings have started to draft since the “retool” of the team. He’s agile, fast and versatile. Expected to go in the vacinity the eighth pick, Guenther would be an enticing pick for the Kings. Drafting Guenther would add to the high-end talent up front that Kings are already excited about and bring plenty of flexibility to the prospect pool.
Height – 6’2”
Weight – 207 Lbs
From – Zurich, Switzerland (represents Canada internationally)
DOB – January 30, 2003
2021-22 Season – EHC Olten (13 games, 9-2=11)
Position – Center
Mason McTavish was one of many players to be severely impacted on the ice by the COVID-19 pandemic. In his first year in the OHL in 2019-20 season, McTavish racked up 42 points (29-13=42) in 57 games with the Peterborough Pete’s, the second-highest point total among OHL rookies. Ready to come back and make a splash in his sophomore season, McTavish didn’t get that chance. With OHL season cancelled after several attempts to get it underway, McTavish had to find elsewhere to play.
Born in Zurich, Switzerland, McTavish went back to his birth country and played for EHC Olten, a team in the second-tier Swiss league. Though McTavish only played in 13 games in Switzerland, the strong and talented center recorded 9 goals and 11 points.
McTavish has tremendous offensive skills and is a versatile player who can impact the game on and off the scoresheet. At 6’2” and 207 pounds, McTavish can play both big and small if needful. His size and skill provide a unique combination that not many in this draft have. And lastly, as one of the premium goal-scorers in this year’s draft, McTavish has a shot that has goalies on edge from everywhere in the offensive zone. With more of a shoot-first mindset, McTavish has the ability to be a leading goal scorer on an NHL team one day.
What They’ve Said
On being compared to Ryan Getzlaf
I really admire the way Getzlaf plays. He’s a big center that gets around and obviously has high-end skill. I try to play like him and compare myself to him.
On his experience in Switzerland and what he learned
I grew up in Switzerland and moved back to Ottawa when I was 10 [years old], so I was comfortable over there. I really enjoyed my time over there and learned a lot from the older guys and the coaching staff.
Craig Button, TSN
Mason is a really competitive player, he’s got a real fire in his game. He’s a good goalscorer, he can shoot the puck and really get goaltenders back on their heels from 35, 40 feet and that in and of itself is a good skill, plus he’s a really good two-way player.
Steve Kourianos, The Draft Analyst
Violence and aggression are just two of several commonplaces in your typical McTavish shift, but he’s also a highly-skilled playmaker and shooter who causes all sorts of matchup problems for defenses.
Jacob Barker, Dobber Prospects
His toolbox is highlighted by a bomb of a shot, which he can get off quickly and accurately from anywhere in various scenarios. However, the most impressive part of his game is his ability to put himself in high danger areas in the offensive zone.
The physical presence that McTavish presents is a standout trait when you’re looking at potential difference-makers, if the draft prospect reaches his projected potential. With the skill of a high-end point producer and the size of a power forward, it’d be hard to find an NHL team not interested in that build. As for that eighth-overall pick, McTavish is projected to go around the Kings first-round selection or just after.
If McTavish were to be picked by the Kings, his addition into the Kings prospect pool would not necessarily be filling any “needs”, but that does not mean it’d be a bad pick. McTavish has a very unique skillset for his size and there are debatably no other players like him in the top-20 picks. If the Kings indeed value McTavish’s assets as “can’t miss,” then McTavish at eight has the potential for the Kings to continue to build a big, heavy and hard to play against roster down the middle like we saw back in the Stanley Cup runs.
The 2021 NHL Draft is scheduled for July 23 and 24. Following the addition of Victor Arvidsson in exchange for a 2021 second-round pick and 2022 third-round pick, the Kings now have seven picks in this year’s draft. Over the next few weeks, we’ll be showcasing several draft-eligible prospects here on LAKI, beginning with those selected by the NHL for media participation last week.
For more draft-eligible prospect content, you can find that on All The Kings Men as I am joined by draft experts to break down the 2021 Draft class in segmented groups.