Jake Guentzel’s Ankle Operation: A Setback for the Pittsburgh Penguins

Jake Guentzel in action during a Pittsburgh Penguins' NHL match.

Pittsburgh Penguins’ forward Jake Guentzel has had a successful surgical procedure performed on his right ankle, the team has confirmed. With a recovery time estimated to span about 12 weeks, Guentzel is set to be absent from the ice when the 2023-24 NHL regular season commences.

The Injury and its Impact on the Penguins’ 2023-24 Season

Given the surgery’s outcome, it’s likely that Guentzel will not be part of the action during the first month of the upcoming 2023-24 season. The Penguins’ first game of the regular season is scheduled for October 10, against the Chicago Blackhawks, a game Guentzel will undoubtedly miss.

“Penguins’ president and general manager, Kyle Dubas, expressed the situation succinctly: “As Jake continued to increase the intensity of his preparation for the upcoming season, it was apparent that his ankle injury was not resolving in a way that was satisfactory to he or the Penguins,” He stated that a collective decision was made in favor of surgery for the player to ensure that Guentzel will perform at his best during the 2023-2024 season.

A Look Back at Guentzel’s Career

Jake Guentzel, originally a third-round (No. 77) pick in the 2013 NHL Draft, has been a high-performing asset for the Penguins. In the 2022-23 season alone, he accumulated 73 points (36 goals and 37 assists) in 78 games.

At 28, he led the team in goals the previous season, ranking third in points, behind only Sidney Crosby (93) and Evgeni Malkin (83). Interestingly, he tied with Malkin for the team lead in power-play goals with 11. From the beginning of the 2018-19 season, Guentzel has scored 159 goals, putting him joint 14th in the league alongside Winnipeg Jets forward Mark Scheifele and new Detroit Red Wings star Alex DeBrincat.

Over his seven-year NHL career, Guentzel has amassed an impressive 414 points (197 goals and 217 assists). He has an additional 58 points (34 goals and 24 assists) from 58 Stanley Cup Playoff games, and was part of the Penguins’ Stanley Cup triumph in 2017.

The Penguins’ Performance and Future Prospects

The 2022-23 season was not the most fruitful for the Penguins, as they failed to make the Stanley Cup Playoffs for the first time since the 2005-06 season when Sidney Crosby was a rookie. They finished the season with a 40-31-11 record. This result led to substantial offseason maneuvers, including renewing goaltender Tristan Jarry’s contract and signing ex-New Jersey Devils defenseman Ryan Graves.

2022-23 Season Key Statistics

NHL Career453197217414442104499122951,25515.7


  • S/C: Season/Career
  • GP: Games Played
  • G: Goals
  • A: Assists
  • P: Points
  • +/-: Plus/Minus
  • PIM: Penalty Minutes
  • PPG: Power-play Goals
  • PPP: Power-play Points
  • SHG: Short-handed Goals
  • SHP: Short-handed Points
  • GWG: Game-Winning Goals
  • OTG: Overtime Goals
  • S: Shots
  • S%: Shooting Percentage

With Guentzel’s recovery journey underway, the Penguins’ management, team, and fans will be hoping for his speedy and successful recovery. While the player’s absence will be a notable hurdle for the team at the beginning of the season, it will also be an opportunity for other team members to step up and make their mark. The team’s resilience and adaptability will certainly be put to the test as they navigate the start of the 2023-24 season without one of their star players.

Jake Guentzel alongside his Pittsburgh Penguins teammates during a game.

Fascinating Facts About Jake Guentzel

Jake Guentzel is not just a key player for the Pittsburgh Penguins, but also a record breaker in the NHL. He made his debut on November 21, 2016, against the New York Rangers, and Guentzel was on fire, scoring two goals on his first two shots. With this, he became the first player in Penguins history and the second player in NHL history to score on his first two shots in his NHL debut. Quite a remarkable feat! His impressive ability didn’t stop there; he went on to set another record during the 2017 Stanley Cup playoffs. Guentzel recorded 21 points (13 goals, 8 assists), the most by a rookie in a single postseason in NHL history.

Born in Omaha, Nebraska, Guentzel has hockey in his blood. His father, Mike Guentzel, is a widely respected figure in the hockey world, with a long history of coaching. He has served as an associate head coach for the University of Minnesota’s men’s hockey team. Jake Guentzel is not the only hockey player in the family, his older brothers, Ryan and Gabe, also played hockey at the collegiate level. This family’s passion for the sport surely played a crucial role in molding Jake Guentzel into the formidable NHL star that he is today.

The Current State of Pittsburgh Penguins

The Pittsburgh Penguins are going through a phase of transition. After missing out on the Stanley Cup Playoffs for the first time since the 2005-2006 season, the team has been looking to rebuild and bounce back stronger. The previous season ended with a 40-31-11 record, which was a bit of a letdown for the team that boasts the likes of Sidney Crosby and Evgeni Malkin.

In response to this, the Penguins have been making significant moves in the offseason. They re-signed goaltender Tristan Jarry, an important part of their core team, and brought in former New Jersey Devils defenseman Ryan Graves. These decisions reflect the team’s commitment to strengthening their defensive capabilities. As the new season approaches, the Penguins’ management, as well as their fans, are hoping for a stronger performance and a return to their former glory. Despite the initial setback of losing Guentzel to injury, the team remains optimistic about the upcoming 2023-2024 season.

Hockey Expert
reviewed by: Jeremy Karamen (Hockey Expert)

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