Maatta scored a goal and added 13 assists in 60 games with the Penguins last season, while Kahun scored 37 points (13g-24a) in his rookie season with the Blackhawks after four seasons in Germany.
Maatta gives the Blackhawks a potential top-4 defenseman, although the fact that he is a relatively slow skater likely means that he won’t score big point totals in the now-faster NHL. Maatta has also had his share of injuries throughout his career (cancer, shoulder surgery, hip), so his overall fantasy upside is limited regardless of where he plays.
Kahun was a pleasant surprise for the Blackhawks, as he played some top-6 minutes with the likes of Alex DeBrincat and Jonathan Toews. All but two of his 37 points were on 5-on-5 play, which shows that an upswing in production is entirely possible in the right situation. Of course, the possibility of icetime with Sidney Crosby or Evgeni Malkin could help those numbers even further, although Kahun is listed as a center. With the Penguins’ first-unit power play set in stone, it’s more likely that Kahun’s numbers stay fairly close to those of his rookie season, though.
The recent overseas signings of Anton Wedin and Dominik Kubalik likely made Kahun expendable. The Blackhawks have been successful in scouting players from Europe and then being able to sign them. This dates all the way back to Artemi Panarin. Given the success that Wedin and Kubalik had in Sweden and Switzerland respectively in 2018-19, one of these two new signings could easily be this year’s Kahun.
Players this helps, in order:
Henri Jokiharju (pairing with the stay-at-home Maatta could allow him to thrive in a more offensive role)
Players this hurts, in order:
Brent Seabrook (the Maatta acquisition could allow the Hawks to start phasing him out)
Duncan Keith (potentially in a similar spot to Seabrook because of age)
Fantasy owners are already weighing in on the deal in the Forum – give your take here!
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