Canadians waiting Kayden Gaul was excited to get a chance to play after the rehab period

The first-round pick in 2020 is expected to make a strong showing to start the season with Montreal.

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Buffalo – After weeks of being very careful while rehab from a lower body injury, Kayden Gohley will be in the Canadians’ rising squad on Sunday as they wrap up their 2022 Prediction Challenge with a game against the Ottawa Senators.

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“I can’t wait to play,” Guhle said after the Montreal Horizons team practiced on Saturday at LECOM Harborcenter. “I wanted to make sure I was ready because there is a long season to come. I hope it will be my first professional season.”

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“He’s ready to play matches,” said Laval Roquette coach Jean-Francois Holly, who kept Guhle out of the first two starter games here. “He’s had three good practices this week. He’s feeling good, he’s healthy.”

Guhle, who is expected to make a solid bid to start the season with the Canadiens, has not played a game since the Memorial Cup. Guhle said he was dealing with “something lower body while running.”

He was talking about the Edmonton Oil Kings race during the Western Hockey League playoffs. The 6-foot-2, 205-pound defender has amassed five goals and 20 assists in 25 games after being traded to the Oil Kings by Prince Albert Raiders. Edmonton then went 16-3 in the WHL Playoffs and Guhle was named post-season player of the year with eight goals and eight assists in 19 games.

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The injury kept Guhle off the ice at the Canadiens development camp in July, and he also moved to Team Canada for the Junior World Championships. Guhle, who is a test pick for the first round (16th overall) in 2020, said he had already planned to take an additional vacation due to the extended season.

“I wanted to make sure my injury healed properly,” he said. “I didn’t want to risk making the situation worse.”

“I was still able to do business outside of the ice,” Guhle said. “At home, I have the tools to shoot pucks, work on stick handling, that kind of thing.”

Guhle was back on the ice when he moved to Montreal in August. He’s worked closely with the Canadians’ coaching staff, getting acclimated to the city and hanging out with some other young players who will likely be his teammates for years to come.

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“I know (Justin) Baron from Junior World a few years ago, and I spent time with Arber (Xhekaj), whom I’ve already known since last year, and Juraj (Slafkovsky) and Mesh (Filip Mesar),” Guhle said. “The two Slovaks are really good people. We had a lot of fun. It was nice getting to know them.”

Guhle had a tough boot camp last fall, but the Canadians decided to bring him back to the rookies. He said it was a good decision and it allowed him to improve his playing style, especially in terms of attacking.

Guhle will face off with Barron, Xhekaj, Mattias Norlinder and Jordan Harris on roster spots and ice time.

“The coaches will make a decision, all I can do is rely on my work ethic and my attitude,” Guhli said.

Holly said Slavkowski, the top seed in this year’s draft, will return to the squad after spending Saturday night.

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