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Kahun a Maatta, what a wonderful trade

June 15, 2019, 9:58 PM ET [243 Comments]
Ryan Wilson
Pittsburgh Penguins Blogger • RSSArchiveCONTACT
There it is. The first big move of the offseason has been made. Olli Maatta is no longer a Pittsburgh Penguin. He was traded to the Chicago Blackhawks for Dominik Kahun and a fifth round pick. I like the deal for the Penguins.

To put things bluntly I think Olli Maatta is incredibly dependent on quality of teammate, he is injury prone, and his rookie season in a sheltered role with Matt Niskanen elevated perceived value for the fanbase his entire Penguins career. There’s a reason I have advocated moving Maatta for quite a while. While I think the Penguins waited too long and didn’t get as much as they could have, they did just fine here.

Some positives right off the bat are that the Penguins save about 3M in cap space which is something they desperately needed to do. In return they got a forward who makes under 1M and can skate. Kahun was 23 last year in his rookie season and put up 37 points, most of which were at even-strength. He is able to play all three forward positions which should blend nicely with Nick Bjugstad and Jared McCann’s ability to do the same.

Who is Dominik Kahun? I had to ask that question myself. From what I’ve looked at I like what I see. Here is a snapshot of his rookie year

Not bad. You have a player on the positive side relative to his teammates and the thing that sticks out to me most is that 1.89 points per 60. That is really good production. His most common linemates were Jonathan Toews and Alex DeBrincat, but it isn’t like the Penguins won’t be able to provide him some help if they choose to play him at wing like the Blackhawks did. Now he won’t be playing with a top 100 player in the league like Toews, although I’m willing to bet the lesser Russian Evgeni Malkin will be able to help him out a little bit if that is the route the Penguins take.

Kahun has one more year left until he heads to restricted free agency. He’s younger and quite frankly I think can provide more value to the Penguins than Olli Maatta has. This is a good under the radar trade for Jim Rutherford and his team and it is something that needed to happen.

Look for Marcus Pettersson to fill the Maatta void. It is reasonable to think he can provide the same value. The key here will be using him with either Justin Schultz or Kris Letang. They can’t do another year of the Johnson-Schultz garbage. It makes no sense. The second pairing cannot be a disaster again or the Penguins won’t really be making any progress.

In the days to come I’ll focus on what they can do with their cap space and what some of the options are. For now marvel at Kahun’s U16 year in Germany. It’s some video game stuff

Yeah that is 206 points in 30 games. Stanley Cup here we come.

Thanks for reading!
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