On Saturday, June 15th, the Chicago Blackhawks and the Pittsburgh Penguins made a trade. Dominik Kahun and a 2019 5th round pick were sent to Pittsburgh in return for Olli Määtta.
This was a pretty surprising trade as there were no rumors of this trade till it was announced. Here are our immediate reactions at the trade!
As most of you know I am a (Chicago) Blackhawks fan. At the time of this trade I wasn’t very happy as Dominik Kahun is a fan favorite and is a great two-way forward. (Olli) Määtta has been described to me as a two-way defenseman, and also a hard worker. Kahun, is a top nine forward who posses speed, lots of playmaking ability and a decent shot. He also has a great amount of versatility and can play anywhere in a lineup. Kahun won’t blow anyone away with his point scoring, but he will be a great top six guy for Pittsburgh.
Määtta, has been described to me as, a top four defenseman who has a very high hockey IQ, a very active stick, a competent passer and can block a lot of shots. Määtta’s biggest downfall is his speed. Määtta should be able to help with the Blackhawks league worst penalty kill and could be an option on the power play.
Newly signed Blackhawks, Dominik Kubalik and Anton Wedin should fill in for Kahun very nicely. I started to come around to this trade, but only time will tell who won this trade. If I had to decide on a winner it would be the Pittsburgh Penguins.
Personally, I think this is a great trade for both sides. Dominik Kahun provided a strong impact in his rookie season for Chicago after coming over from Europe, and he could potentially be a great fit in Pittsburgh’s top-six with Evgeni Malkin or Sidney Crosby as his center. Kahun works very hard in all three zones and is pretty versatile as well. This proves to me that the Blackhawks are relying on guys like Dylan Sikura, Dominik Kubalik, and potentially even Anton Wedin to replace Kahun.
For the Blackhawks, Olli Maatta is a solid bet for a Top-4 left-handed defenseman that they desperately need. He did have a rough 2018–19 season, as he battled health issues and inconsistency in his play. But, he did have a strong season in 2017–18, and I think that is what the Blackhawks are expecting from him in the future. Määtta is a good puck-moving defenseman that can provide some support on the penalty kill and block shots. He uses his outlets well in his own zone and also has a great first pass. I think that he would make a great fit on a pairing with Henri Jokiharju. Jeremy Colliton’s system relies heavily on transition offense, and having two great puck-movers like Määtta and Jokiharju can lead to that quick transition. I think the Blackhawks might look to see what he can do offensively by using him on the power play more, partly because he did not get much ice time on the man advantage in Pittsburgh.
Welcome to the offseason hockey fans! The Cup has been lifted and this year’s free agency, NHL draft are going to make big splash! Sit back in the pool, or lay in the sun and let’s take a dive into one of the recent trades in the offseason.
On Saturday, the Chicago Blackhawks made a trade to boost the blue line with a young defenseman Olli Määtta from the Penguins in exchange for Dominik Kahun and a 2019 5th round pick. The Hawks needed to bolster the blue line and Määtta could be a great fit to the roster despite having a down year last season. And with Henri Jokiharju on the roster, could they be the defensive pairing the Hawks need to make the playoffs, or even make the Stanley Cup Final? We shall wait and see, Hawks fans!
player profiles – hockey-reference.com
featured image photo credit – Nikos Michals