Every year when the World Junior Hockey Championships begin, it's always fascinating to see where players come from and any of the connections they may have to local hockey teams and players. Despite being from Sherwood Park, Alberta, Team Canada captain and Edmonton Oil Kings defenceman Kaiden Guhle has played with one of the local Kindersley Jr. Klippers.
During last year's WHL bubble, Klippers assistant captain and Kindersley local Logan Linklater was actually roommates with Guhle when they both played for the Prince Albert Raiders before an injury took Guhle out of competition. After spending time with Guhle, it came as no surprise to Linklater that his former roommate would be leading Canada on the biggest stage in Jr. hockey.
"Definitely wasn't surprised. Just being with him and seeing what he's about and what he's like and how high he carries himself, I definitely thought he deserved it. He's such a good, natural born leader and he's just someone that you want to play for, so again, definitely didn't surprise me."
Despite being both team and roommates, Guhle end up getting a hand injury in just the second game of the season in the WHL bubble, the two didn't get to spend too much time with one another, but Linklater still learned a few things from the Montreal Canadiens prospect.
"I think the biggest thing I took from him is just how well he carries himself with all the little stuff he does. All the little stuff he says I think makes a huge difference. I've picked up a lot just watching how a pro really carries and takes care of himself. I think the other thing I picked up from his is just being a good guy."
According to Linklater, the biggest strength Guhle shows as a leader comes off the ice in reaching out to players he's no longer playing with about issues not even on the ice.
"When I was dealing with everything I had in the summer, he was good to reach out to and was actually one of the first to text me about it when I told everyone. He's a really good guy and I think that correlates with why he's such a good leader and why guys want to play for him so bad."
Kaiden Guhle and the rest of Team Canada play their first game of the World Jr. Tournament at 6:00pm on Boxing Day against the Czech Republic in Edmonton.
As for Logan Linklater and the Jr. Klippers, they are off the ice until January 5th against the Estevan Bruins where the Klippers will start 2022 with seven straight home games.