Dominik Kubalik is going to be a top-line forward in the NHL for a long time. Hopefully, his career is entirely with the Blackhawks.
Dominik Kubalik can score goals. To think that the Blackhawks only gave up a fifth-round pick to bring Dominik Kubalik into their organization. Here the ‘Hawks are over a year later, and Kubalik is nominated for the Calder Trophy for rookie of the year.
Now, it is excellent to see Kubalik succeed with the Blackhawks. At the same time, though, it would not have hurt if he struggled a little. Kubalik was on a one year deal this past season, and he is due for a pay raise now that his contract is expired.
His entire season showed that he is worth a lot of money for the Blackhawks. After Jeremy Colliton moved him up into the top six and gave Kubalik a shot on the power play, there was no looking back. Kubalik did not get top-line minutes until February, and yet he still put up 30 goals. Could you imagine if he had a full season on the top line?
Thirty goals in a rookie season is a tremendous performance. That is the same amount of goals that Artemi Panarin scored in his rookie season. While Kubalik and Panarin are not the same players, this does bode well for the Blackhawks when it comes to offensive production.
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Games Played: 68
Games Played: 9
Only Jonathan Toews scored more goals during the postseason run this August. Kubalik might not have played the best hockey of his season during the playoffs, and he did play well enough.
Keeping Kubalik around during the coming years is vitally important to making sure the Blackhawks have two top lines. Kubalik made Jonathan Toews a better player, and he is going to continue to do so for years to come hopefully.
Future With The Team:
Right now, Dominik Kubalik’s future is up in the air. He is not signed, and he could demand a hefty sum of money. While I do not think Stan Bowman is going to offer a long term deal or anything north of 4.5 million, I could see the case being made for Kubalik deserving that.
If Kubalik re-signs, it is going to be on a deal that will allow himself to prove his worth during the coming season. Kubalik would get a full year to go out and play and prove he should have a large contract. It is a similar situation to if the Blackhawks offered Strome a deal at the beginning of this past season. They would have given him a larger contract than this past season would merit. Sometimes one season is just not enough to earn a large contract. The sample size needs to be larger.
While I do believe Dominik Kubalik is the real deal, I would not mind seeing another year before Chicago commits long term to him. Next season hopefully, Chicago will play Kubalik in more situations and with different players.
After finding his home on the top line alongside Toews and Saad, Kubalik did not get played with many other players. Except for the final game when John Quenneville played on the top line. I think that Patrick Kane could elevate Kubalik’s game to another level, as it would give him one of the best playmakers in the game on his line.
Rating For The Year:
For Kubalik’s play this past season and throughout the playoffs, he earns an A rating. Being nominated for a Calder Trophy is not something to shrug off, even if the rookie is 25 years old. I believe the future is bright for Dominik Kubalik. It pains me to say it, but this was one of the moves that Stan Bowman got right.