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As Sidney Crosby continues to put up points and prove that, along with even-strength forward Erik Karlsson, NHL players don’t automatically turn to dust at age 30, he’s helping to create a career season for Jake Guentzel. .

Last year, Jake Guntzel tied his career-best total in goals (40) and set his career-best in assists (44) for a personal-best point total of 84.

Will he set all new highs by the end of 2023?

Guentzel has missed four games so far this season thanks to Kris Letang’s painful hit (coupled with Sidney Crosby’s hit by Evgeni Malkin on Thursday, it might be time for the Penguins to tame the friendly fire). Still, he struck out 15. -16—26 games from 31.

Right now, that pace looks set to continue.

  • There are only six games so far this season where Guentzel has been completely shut out, and it has yet to happen three straight. Throughout his career, he has been one of the most consistent producers in the NHL; Guentzel’s .93 points per game ranks 20th among active players with 400+ games.
  • When Crosby is hot, Guntzel is rarely far behind. Guntzel has assisted on 12 of Crosby’s 17 goals this season.
  • Guntzel leads the Penguins in man advantage goals (5) and the power play has only recently started to heat up. We’ll likely see more 5×4 goals from him if he continues to improve, though that may depend in part on the health of Evgeni Malkin, who helped create four of the five power play goals.

Right now, if he can stay the rest of the season (knock wood!), Guentzel is on pace for 45 goals (career best 40), 48 assists (career best 44) and 93 points (career best); 84.)

The Penguins may be lucky Guentzel’s contract doesn’t expire this year (his $6 million per year contract runs through 2023-24).

Only two NHL players last season (Jonathan Huberdeau and JT Miller) scored more than 90 points on $6 million or less, and they both received significant raises in return (Miller to $8 million/cap, Huberdeau to $10.5 dollars).

Guntzel isn’t the only Penguin currently on track to hit personal bests this season.

Brock McGinn, who scored a career-best 16 goals for the Carolina Hurricanes in 2018, has 21 goals this year after scoring seven goals in his last 18 games.

Marcus Peterson, who had a career-high 23 assists in 2018-19 split between Anaheim and Pittsburgh, has 10 assists in his first 21 games. He hasn’t hit a home run in nine contests, but those early apples still put him at a new record of 27.

Here’s an unlikely one, but hey, it would be nice. Tristan Jarry already has two assists a third of the way through the season. He still has time to top his career-best four assists in 2020-21. Plus, if he gets four more, he’ll tie Marc-Andre Fleury (14) for second-most assists by a Penguins goaltender (though he still has a long way to go to catch Tom Barroso’s 31).


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