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Penguins trade defenseman Olli Maatta to Chicago Blackhawks for forward Dominik Kahun, fifth round pick

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So it begins...

NHL: Pittsburgh Penguins at Minnesota Wild Brace Hemmelgarn-USA TODAY Sports

The Pittsburgh Penguins and GM Jim Rutherford have officially started making offseason moves, shipping out Stanley Cup-winning defenseman Olli Maatta to the Chicago Blackhawks for forward Dominik Kahun and a 2019 fifth round draft pick, per TSN Insider Darren Dreger.

The 23-year-old, Czech-born (but German national team) player primarily plays the center and left-wing positions and is a solid second to third line talent that could easily bolster the Penguins’ top-six. He comes with a cheap $925,000 cap hit and is in the second year of his entry-level contract. During his last season stint with the Blackhawks, Kahun put up a respectable 37 points (13 goals, 24 assists) in a full 82 regular season slate.

Dominik Kahun’s Advanced Stats for 2018-19 Season

Season Team GP TOI CF CA CF% FF FA FF% SF SA SF% GF GA GF% SCF SCA SCF% HDCF HDCA HDCF% HDGF HDGA HDGF% MDCF MDCA MDCF% MDGF MDGA MDGF% LDCF LDCA LDCF% LDGF LDGA LDGF% On-Ice SH% On-Ice SV% PDO Off. Zone Starts Neu. Zone Starts Def. Zone Starts On The Fly Starts Off. Zone Start % Off. Zone Faceoffs Neu. Zone Faceoffs Def. Zone Faceoffs Off. Zone Faceoff %
Season Team GP TOI CF CA CF% FF FA FF% SF SA SF% GF GA GF% SCF SCA SCF% HDCF HDCA HDCF% HDGF HDGA HDGF% MDCF MDCA MDCF% MDGF MDGA MDGF% LDCF LDCA LDCF% LDGF LDGA LDGF% On-Ice SH% On-Ice SV% PDO Off. Zone Starts Neu. Zone Starts Def. Zone Starts On The Fly Starts Off. Zone Start % Off. Zone Faceoffs Neu. Zone Faceoffs Def. Zone Faceoffs Off. Zone Faceoff %
20182019 CHI 82 1040.95 1025 1029 49.90 776 788 49.62 616 602 50.57 51 37 57.95 511 531 49.04 194 243 44.39 28 18 60.87 317 288 52.40 16 16 50.00 434 410 51.42 7 3 70.00 8.28 93.85 1.021 184 292 145 733 55.93 320 381 291 52.37
via Natural Stat Trick

Kahun’s on-ice advanced metrics are pretty solid across the board given how bad Chicago was in the first half of the season. The stat that jumps out the most is his sparkling 60.87 High Danger Goals for and 57.95 Goals For percentages, which will be a huge boost to the Penguins’ forward group. Kahun’s a high-energy, speedy, and competitive forward with good hockey sense. The only catch is that he’s a bit on the smaller side (he’s 5-foot-11, 175 pounds), but as we’re seeing in the new modern day NHL, size doesn’t always equal success.

The salary implications are also huge — Maatta’s cap hit is $4.083 million. Moving him opened up badly needed cap space for Pittsburgh this summer.

It’s a toss-up in regards to naming a winner in this trade, as both the Penguins and Blackhawks got what they needed in terms of their rosters going forward, but Pittsburgh did pretty well in this one. Maatta was often jeered for his slow skating and was playing on an already slow defensive group, so it’ll be interesting to see what move Rutherford makes next to hopefully improve the team lacking in quality blueliners.