Kahun spoke with Powers on Thursday prior to the Hawks opening loss to Columbus in the annual prospect tournament in Traverse City, Michigan. Powers notes that Kahun, who signed a two-year deal worth $1.85 million in April as a undrafted free agent, has a European assignment clause in his contract. The clause would allow the 23-year-old to return to Germany while the Hawks retain his NHL rights.
Kahun said he’ll “probably go back to Europe,” if he doesn’t make the NHL. He recorded 41 points in 42 regular-season games then racked up 14 points in 17 playoff games last season to help München win its third consecutive league championship.
What are Kahun’s chances of making the NHL? Not great.
Kahun, who mainly plays center, would have to make the roster at wing. Chicago is set down the middle with Jonathan Toews, Nick Schmaltz, Artem Anisimov and Marcus Kruger. Veteran free agent signee Chris Kunitz and rookie Dylan Sikura are slated at wing along with Patrick Kane and Brandon Saad, leaving three starting roster spots open. As Powers notes, Kahun will compete against Victor Ejdsell, John Hayden, Matthew Highmore, Luke Johnson, David Kampf and Andreas Martinsen for those final three slots. Johnson is the lone player among that group to have not played in the NHL.
Would Kahun benefit from returning to Germany? Yes.
By returning to Germany, Kahun would resume his role as München’s top scoring threat. He also would log more minutes than he would if he stayed in North America with the Rockford IceHogs in the AHL. In Rockford, he would be competing against some of those same players he’d be trying to edge out for a NHL spot.
“What’s next?” — Josiah Bartlett
Kahun along with other Hawks prospects compete in Traverse City until Tuesday before beginning training camp Friday in Chicago.