From Omaha to Pittsburgh, Jake Guentzel makes and an impact



Photo courtesy of Omavs.
Contributor Erik Mauro discusses the success of UNO alumnus Jake Guentzel who has made a name for himself in the NHL.

Erik Mauro

Born and raised in Minnesota, the name “Guentzel” should be very familiar to Omaha area hockey fans. Current Pittsburgh Penguin and former Omaha Maverick Jake Guentzel has made an impact in his hockey career.

Picking it up from his Junior League career, Guentzel played in the United States Hockey League for the Sioux City Musketeers. He posted 29 goals and 44 assists, totaling 73 points. Because of this season, Guentzel was drafted in the third round by the Pittsburgh Penguins.

From there, he went on to play for the Mavs. In two seasons, he posted 73 points. In his freshman season, he posted seven goals and 34 points, and was named to the NCHC all-rookie team. His sophomore season was even better. As a sophomore, Guentzel put up 14 goals and 39 points. After his sophomore year, he decided to pursue a pro career.

The Penguins could not be happier that he decided to turn pro. He made his NHL debut last season and played in 40 games. Guentzel continued his scoring ways, posting 16 goals and 33 points. Where he made his living though is in the playoffs.

Last postseason, he played in all 25 postseason games, scoring 13 goals, helping the Penguins to their second Stanley Cup in a row.
This season, he has improved his game. Playing in all 82 games, Guentzel scored 22 goals, with 26 assists for a total of 48 points. However, this postseason is putting last season to shame. In seven playoff games so far this year, Guentzel has seven goals and nine assists.

A big highlight for him is in the series clinching game against the Philadelphia Flyers, Guentzel scored four goals in a row, singlehandedly bringing the Penguins back and giving them the lead.

Two of the four goals came ten seconds apart in the third period.
His career playoff line currently reads 20 goals and 17 assists for 37 points in just 32 games. Guentzel lives for the moment, and if his current career trajectory is any indication, he will be a premiere NHL player in the very near future.