Kahunamania just started in Edmonton, and I can already hear you thinking: what’s going on with that guy from Dominik Kahun? Aren’t the Oilers his fourth team in three years? How much of a difference can a Kahun? What’s wrong with this aerial food?
The answers: it’s good, yes, not bad, and I’ll have to get back to you.
Why the Buffalo Sabers felt it was in their best interests not to qualify Kahun will remain a mystery. Kahun is now a godsend for the Oilers at an absolutely sublime price tag of 975K.
Kahun can play center, but he’ll likely find a home on the wing in Edmonton. Much has been said about how Kahun and Draisaitl racked up nearly 400 points in 30 games together ten years ago for an U16 team in Germany. Sounds good, and if Kahun does the same chemistry with Leon Draisaitl, no one will care.
It is said to be Kahun’s fourth team in just three professional years. It seems like a cause for concern, but let’s see how we got here.
Why did Chicago trade Dominik Kahun to the Penguins?
The Blackhawks picked up defenseman Olli Maatta in hopes he would make the difference on the blue line. Penguins got younger and cheaper with the addition of Kahun. By the time that deal was struck in 2019, Kahun had already posted a rookie campaign with 37 points in 82 games (13-24-37). Not too bad, is it?
Why did the Penguins trade Dominik Kahun to the Sabers?
The Penguins received Conor Sheary (with Evan Rodriguez) in a 2020 deadline deal that sent Kahun to the Sabers. The Penguins were looking to provide an offensive spark in a run to the playoffs, the Penguins were hoping to put points back into the roster with Sheary (53 points in 2016-17). The Sabers weren’t going to make the playoffs and got Kahun in return. Kahun had 27 points in 50 games for Pittsburgh in 2019-20, and he’s a scraper in the head of Big Jim Rutherford. Kahun would score four points (2-2-4) in six games played before Covid’s shutdown.
Why didn’t the Sabers make Kahun a qualifying offer?
I do not know. It has been a tumultuous offseason for the Sabers. They did well for themselves by signing Taylor Hall to a one-year contract, but new general manager Kevyn Adams did not offer Dominik Kahun a qualifying offer and Kahun was released. Now he’s in Edmonton.
Kahun is a versatile player who can play throughout the roster. With only three professional years under his belt, he has recorded 68 points in 138 career games. That puts him at nearly half a point per game, and he hasn’t played alongside his elite teammates since moving to Chicago when he spent time with Alex DeBrincat and Jonathan Toews. Kahun has a career S% of just over 11, and he only shot the puck 87 times last season on a line with Patric Hornqvist and Jared McCann. So what am I getting at?
There is a real opportunity for this player to explode in 2020-2021.
Line him up with Connor McDavid and let him rip. I would be excited to see what a dozen games with the best player in the game would look like, and I would bet I know everyone wants to leave Kahun on the same line as Leon Draisaitl because of their many years of success. there are, but Kahun is going to bring McDavid a lot of pucks on that top line. Good things tend to happen when the best player in the game has time with the puck.
If you run a top line of Kahun – McDavid – Puljujarvi, you can keep that line of Ryan Nugent-Hopkins – Leon Draisaitl – Kailer Yamamoto together. Those are two killer lines, and if you need to flip RNH with Kahun every once in a while, go for it. Now add a third line with newly acquired and recently re-signed Kyle Turris Tyler Ennis. Do you see what I see? Could this club finally have three score lines?
Anytime you can bring what could be an impact forward for less than a million dollars, it’s always a good bet. Holland’s ability to land Kahun for 975K (with a little help from Leon) could be seen as his best free agency acquisition. It is certainly the one that presents the least risk.
Dominik Kahun is on a love affair with the Oilers this year, and it’s an opportunity for him to make his mark and find himself on a great new deal at the end of 2021. It’s an opportunity for the Oilers to stepping forward even from strength goals, which a leading power play in a league was able to protect in 2019-20. Line him up with McDavid and let him do what he’s there for. The Oilers depend on it.