Pittsburgh Penguins winger Jake Guentzel underwent successful surgery on his right ankle, according to an announcement from the team. Guentzel will be reevaluated in 12 weeks and is slated to miss the start of the 2023-24 regular season.
As a result of the surgery, Guentzel will likely miss the opening month of the 2023-24 season. The Penguins open the regular season on Oct. 10 against the Chicago Blackhawks
"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," Penguins president and general manager Kyle Dubas said in a statement. "In collaboration with Jake - his representative Ben Hankinson of Octagon Sports, the Penguins medical team led by Dr. Dharmesh Vyas of UPMC Sports Medicine, and Dr. Coetzee - it was decided that surgery would be the best way to ensure Jake would be at his best in 2023-2024."
Guentzel was originally selected in the third round (No. 77) in the 2013 NHL Draft. The Penguins star is coming off of a season in which he registered 73 points (36 goals and 37 assists) in 78 games during the 2022-23 season.
The 28-year-old led the team in goals last season while finishing third in points behind only Sidney Crosby (93) and Evgeni Malkin (83). Guentzel also was tied with Malkin for the team lead in power-play goals (11). Since the start of the 2018-19 campaign, Guentzel is tied for 14th in the league in goals (159) with Winnipeg Jets forward Mark Scheifele and newly acquired Detroit Red Wings star Alex DeBrincat.
Guentzel was racked up 414 points (197 goals and 217 assists) during his seven-year NHL career. He's also added 58 points (34 goals and 24 assists) in 58 Stanley Cup Playoff games, and he helped the Penguins win the Stanley Cup in 2017.
The 2022-23 season was a down year for Pittsburgh, which missed the Stanley Cup Playoffs for the first time in since the 2005-06 campaign when Crosby was a rookie. The Penguins finished the year with a 40-31-11 record, and they made significant offseason moves, including re-signing goaltender Tristan Jarry and signing former New Jersey Devils defenseman Ryan Graves.