Dylan Guenther, a top prospect for the 2021 NHL Draft, was named recipient of the Jim Piggott Memorial Trophy as Western Hockey League rookie of the year, the league announced Friday.
Guenther, the No. 1 pick in the 2018 WHL Bantam Draft, had 59 points (26 goals, 33 assists) in 58 games, including eight power play goals and three game-winning goals. The 17-year-old led the Edmonton Oil Kings in goals, ranked fourth in assists, and was third overall in scoring.
“His development curve this season was impressive to watch as he showed noticeable improvement and an increase in confidence in every successive outing,” FC Hockey’s Western scout Donesh Mazloum said. “After working his way up from the fourth line early in the season, Guenther was arguably the greatest driving force of offence for the Oil Kings before the season ended prematurely.
“When he’s at the top of his game he can look unstoppable in the offensive zone. He has the mental speed and finesse to clinically dissect an opposition defensive structure, the power and balance to excel in the dirty areas, and a world class shot that is a weapon from anywhere in the zone. As he continues to add more size and strength to his 6-foot-1 frame, the sky is truly the limit as far as his point production goes.”
Among WHL rookies, Guenther ranked third in goals, tied for second in assists, and was second in points. He was one of four rookies to produce at better than a point-per-game pace.