Getting to Know: Jake Guentzel

Friday, 08.16.2013 / 9:00 AM
James Santelli

JAKE GUENTZEL

Position
: Center
Size: 5-foot-9, 153 pounds
Birth Date: Oct. 6, 1994
How the Pens Acquired Him: Drafted in 3rd round (77th overall) of 2013 NHL Draft
Next Step: Freshman season at the University of Nebraska-Omaha, playing with fellow Penguins prospect Josh Archibald

Claim to Fame: Knows Penguins defenseman and fellow Minnesota native Paul Martin personally. Guentzel's dad Mike is associate head coach at the University of Minnesota and coached Martin there from 2000-03. Jake said Martin was one of his dad's favorite players, adding "he’s a good friend and I really look up to him.

Also, Guentzel was invited to USA Hockey's National Junior Evaluation Camp earlier this August in Lake Placid. Being invited to this camp was a big deal for Guentzel, as it is the first step in picking the teams for the 2014 World Junior Championship and Team USA is the tournament's defending gold medalist. For Guentzel to play alongside the country's most elite talent in his age group and get evaluated by the staff this past week is a positive step in his development. --Michelle Crechiolo

2012-13 Season: Guentzel’s first and only season in the United States Hockey League was a huge success. He finished his 60-game season with 29 goals and 44 assists to finish 6th in the league in points, win Rookie of the Year and was named a Second-Team All-Star

Numbers Never Lie: In the first 39 games of his USHL season, Guentzel totaled 12 goals and 18 assists. In his final 21 games with the Sioux City Muskateers, he scored a point in every single one: 17 goals and 26 assists to end his rookie year.

Pens' Take: “Jake Guentzel is a young player that we just drafted this year. Again: A marathoner, down the road. But he's quick, he's smart, he's skilled. He makes players around him better." – Tom Fitzgerald

Guentzel on transitioning to the college game at 5-foot-9: “Obviously you're going to be playing bigger guys every night, so I'm just working on building muscle and weight to try and play my game with the bigger, older guys. I think I'll be fine. I've just got to be able to play my game, have some fun … Build up strength or just try to be quicker.”

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