3 reasons why the Red Wings must acquire Jake Guentzel at the trade deadline

If there is anybody worth watching for a blockbuster trade, it’s the Detroit Red Wings and forward Jake Guentzel.

Jan 11, 2024; Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, USA; Pittsburgh Penguins left wing Jake Guentzel (59) skates
Jan 11, 2024; Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, USA; Pittsburgh Penguins left wing Jake Guentzel (59) skates / Charles LeClaire-USA TODAY Sports
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Guentzel could turn Detroit into the NHL’s top-scoring team

So far in 2023-24, the Detroit Red Wings have been one of the NHL’s most dynamic groups when they have the puck. With 196 goals this season, Detroit ranks seventh among the league’s 32 teams in scoring, and someone like Guentzel coming to town will only increase that number. 

Here is an interesting possession metric to know about Guentzel: When he’s on the ice at even strength, the Penguins have an 11.7 shooting percentage, which is currently a career-high for Guentzel. At 5-on-5, that number sits at 9.7 percent, Guentzel’s highest since the 2018-19 season. This is rather significant, considering how poorly the Penguins have scored this season, having found the net just 159 times. 

Earlier, we established that Guentzel was once again doing more than his fair share in Pittsburgh, with 30 assists to go with his 22 goals. Just think about what he can do with a team that is more competent in the offensive zone, not just at even strength and at 5-on-5, but also on the power play. 

And speaking of a team’s on-ice shooting percentage, the Penguins are scoring at an eye-popping 50.0 percent when Guentzel is on the ice, or 19 of the team’s 25 power play goals. That said, Guentzel will make a good power play in Detroit even better. 

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(Statistics provided by Hockey-Reference as of February 23rd)