Guentzel named USHL’s top rookie

Aaron Vickers2013 Draft Center

Jake Guentzel of the Sioux City Musketeers has made waves in the 2013 NHL Draft.

The 5-foot-9, 155-pound forward created those waves after making a splash in the United States Hockey League.

After finishing sixth overall in league scoring in his rookie season, Guentzel was named USHL Rookie of the Year on Friday. The 18-year-old amassed 39 goals and 73 points in 60 regular season games and opened the eyes of many scouts, including Future Considerations’ Dan Shrader.

“Guentzel, though still physically immature, is one of the most intelligent players in the USHL,” Shrader said. “He doesn’t have overpowering speed, but uses it well to catch defenders by surprise, and has the vision and passing ability to set up teammates through traffic.

“His high end hockey sense and work ethic really allowed him to take a huge step forward after the USHL/NHL Top Prospects Game and completely dominate the second half of the year.”

Forty-three of Guentzel’s points came in a 21-game scoring streak to close out his season, tying the USHL Tier 1 era record set by Mike Erickson of the Des Moines Buccaneers during the 2003-04 campaign.

“Obviously the hockey world has been long aware of Jake’s talents – it runs in the family, and the Guentzel legacy in the USHL is lasting,” said USHL President and Commissioner Skip Prince in a release.  “The year he had with the Musketeers was a testament to hard work, talent, and just a great feel for the game.  Congratulations to Jake and the Sioux City organization for a great season on an exciting young team.”

Guentzel has committed to play at the University of Nebraska-Omaha following his USHL career.