Now that the Cup has been presented and the Blues are going buckwild, the business of the offseason has really begun. After the Caps traded Matt Niskanen for Radko Gudas on Friday, the Pittsburgh Penguins have made a trade of their own, dealing defender Olli Maatta to Chicago for forward Dominik Kahun and a fifth round draft pick.
Maatta, 24, has not developed as expected for Pittsburgh, especially after he lost Matt Niskanen as a partner in 2014. Last season he scored one goal and 13 assists in 60 games. (He missed some time due to an upper-body injury in February.) Among all Pittsburgh defenders not named after easy-listening folk-pop musicians, Maatta ranks last in driving play in the team’s favor. He has at times enjoyed a reputation as a good transition player, particularly with offensive-zone entries, but he has struggled to establish himself as a top-four defender.
In 2014, Maatta underwent surgery for thyroid cancer. He missed two weeks.
Maatta played in just one playoff game this postseason. The Penguins were eliminated in four games.
Meanwhile, Kahun is an interesting young forward. He scored 13 goals and 24 assists in a full rookie season with the Blackhawks.
The Pittsburgh Penguins have acquired forward Dominik Kahun and a 2019 fifth-round draft pick from the Chicago Blackhawks in exchange for Olli Maatta, it was announced today by executive vice president and general manager Jim Rutherford.
Kahun, 23, is coming off a successful rookie campaign in which he recorded 37 points (13G-24A) in 82 games for the Blackhawks, while averaging 14:09 minutes per game. The 5-foot-11, 175-pound forward finished the year plus-10, which was best among all Chicago forwards and third overall on the team.
Kahun, who will be entering the final year of his entry-level contract, is signed through the end of the 2019-20 season, and he carries an average annual value of $925,000. He will be a restricted free agent at the end of next season.
“Dominik had a great rookie season with the Blackhawks,” said general manager Jim Rutherford. “He is a speedy, versatile player capable of playing all three forward positions. He also saw time on Chicago’s power-play and penalty killing units. We are very excited for him to join our team.”
Kahun ended the 2018-19 campaign ranked in the top-10 in goals (t-8th), assists (t-4th), points (t-7th), and plus/minus (8th) among NHL rookies. He also joined fellow Penguin, Marcus Pettersson, as one of just six rookies to appear in 82 or more games this season.
The native of Plana, Czech Republic originally signed with the Blackhawks as an undrafted free agent on May 21, 2018. Prior to that, Kahun spent four seasons with EHC München of Germany’s top professional league, the DEL where he recorded 111 points (39G-72A) over 157 regular season games. EHC München won the DEL championship in each of Kahun’s final three seasons with the team.
Although born in the Czech Republic, Kauhn has represented Germany multiple times at the international level, including winning a silver medal at the 2018 Olympics where he tallied five points (2G-3A) in seven games. He has also played for Germany in the World Championship (2016, ’17, ’18, ’19), World Junior Championship (’13, ’14, ’15), and World Under-18 Championship (’12, ’13).
Headline photo: Matthew Stockman
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