Determining Dominik Kahun’s Future Role on the Blackhawks
By Michael Wagner
Various Blackhawks players had breakout campaigns during the 2018-19 season. One player got lost in the mix and isn’t receiving enough credit, Dominik Kahun.
As the 2019 IIHF Men’s World Championships head into the second round, most of the talk around the Blackhawks participating in the tournament fall to the top players.
Patrick Kane and Alex DeBrincat, or even prospects participating, like Henri Jokihjarju and Dominik Kubalik have gotten most of the attention thus far.
This all makes sense as these players are what excite the fan base. Superstars, or potential stars, tend to be on top of fans minds.
One player who figures to be a solid piece of the Blackhawks’ future, who hasn’t gotten much press, is German winger Dominik Kahun. He is quietly having a very solid tournament.
Kahun has been solid for an offensively struggling German team. He currently ranks third on the team in scoring with with five points in seven games.
The German team has moved onto the second round of Worlds and look to take on the Czech Republic. Here, Kahun will play against likely future teammate Kubalik.
However, I want to focus more on what the future holds for Dominik Kahun in the Blackhawks’ organization and see where he really fits in.
Dominik Kahun’s 1st Season With Blackhawks
A bit of a surprise out of training camp, Dominik Kahun was able to make the roster our of camp and found himself on the “top line” with Jonathan Toews and Brandon Saad.
Within the first ten games, Kahun looked like a real find with seven points in his first ten games, but would never be able to find that offensive consistency again.
In the following 72 games, Kahun would only compile 30 points. He was unable to find that consistency he had in those first ten games, and would find himself consistently up and down the lineup.
During the final stretch of the season, Kahun seemed to find consistent linemates in Alex DeBrincat and the resurgent Dylan Strome.
Here, he was consistently dangerous and a solid two-way player on that line of two offensively-minded players.
Where Does Dominik Kahun Fit?
As we head into the 2019-2020 season, Kahun seems like a lock, once again, to be on the roster. However, the real question is where does he fit in this group?
Will it be with DeBrincat and Strome once again? Will he mature into a key offensive contributor in his second year, or will he find himself sinking in the lineup and become a checking role winger?
Much of this will depend on how the 2019 NHL entry draft and free agency unfolds for the Blackhawks.
Let’s say the Blackhawks do add another top-six forward. You would imagine that Kahun will have to show what he can do in the Blackhawks’ bottom-six.
This is a role I think truly meant for Kahun. With his mix of playmaking ability and defensive responsibility, he could really anchor a third line on the wing, and provide depth scoring that the Blackhawks struggled with all season.
If Kahun can step up his production, even slightly from the 37 points he managed this season, he will be a valuable asset on the third line next season. What does his future beyond 2020 look like though?
Looking Beyond 2020
After the 2019-2020 season, Dominik Kahun will be entering his RFA status, so the upcoming season will be a pivitol one for his NHL future.
Much like we have seen with players like Victor Ejdsell, players are willing to move back overseas to if their play time or pay does not match their perceived value.
This is a tool that will be at Kahun’s disposal and is something that many speculated he utilized last season, to make sure he made the team out of camp.
Even if that was true, Kahun proved he is an NHL player. Which role will he finally settle himself into now?
Much of that will be determined by the player and the situation that coach Jeremy Colition puts him in, but as the World Championships has shown, Dominik Kahun is a player that fits. It is still to be determined where that is though