The Edmonton Oilers have signed left wing Dominik Kahun to a one-year contract worth $975,000.
The Oilers get: a reasonably-productive second- or third-line tweener who, for some reason, is always unwanted.
Fantasy players impacted: Kahun has been in the league for two years. He has been productive in each of those two years. Each half-season he has been more productive than the prior one, despite ice time that has been getting slightly rolled back. After a 37-point season, Kahun produced at a 45-point pace last year despite his ice time dropping from 14:09 to 13:17. And he's producing these numbers without playing with the obvious stars! That's right – Kahun played just 16.8% of his shifts last season with Evgeni Malkin, pretty much 0% with Sidney Crosby, and 0% with Jack Eichel. In 2018-19 he saw about 9% of his shifts with Patrick Kane. Furthermore, the Blackhawks traded him and then eight months later Pittsburgh traded. A few months after that, the Sabres wouldn't even give him a qualifying offer. One wonders who he pissed off.
Not a very strong possession player, he only just turned 25 and has spent two years in the league. He was getting sheltered with high offensive zone starts (by percentage) and lower quality of competition. But with a second-year player that's not uncommon, and it's not like he was terrible. He was sub-par. There must be something deeper going on there.
The point is, we can't immediately assume that he's going to get any time at all with Connor McDavid nor Leon Draisaitl. And without that kind of action, he's sunk. And with such a low salary, the Oilers will think nothing of shipping him to the minors (even at risk of losing him on waivers) or burying him in the press box. Something they would do if he was being paid, say, $3M. Kahun needs an injury to hit a key Edmonton winger for him to offer fantasy value. The good news is, "injury" is James Neal's middle name.
Here is how this plays out. Joakim Nygard is probably sunk. We didn't get to see much of the 27-year-old and I suspect that now we're not going to. This also probably pushes Tyler Ennis or Zack Kassian out of the top nine. Probably the latter. And it may not Alex Chiasson right out of the lineup.
Eventually, my guess is that James Neal will play his way off the top line and Kahun gets shuffled higher. But it won't start that way and with a shortened season Kahun may not have time to prove anything. So overall, Kahun probably is hurt by the signing early on, but helped by it later if he gets enough time to do it. So call it a wash for Kahun owners.
Players this helps, in order: