One player mentioned at the Blackhawks end-of-season press conference might have caught some fans by surprise.
When Dominik Kubalik - or rather, his NHL rights - arrived in Chicago in January via trade with the Los Angeles Kings, the news didn't send shockwaves around the league. All the Blackhawks gave up in the deal was a fifth-round draft pick.
Kubalik's play in the Swiss National League this season caught the eye of Blackhawks SVP/General Manager Stan Bowman, who said he expects the 23-year-old forward to replicate the success of another European newcomer, Dominik Kahun.
Before joining the Blackhawks in the offseason, Kahun spent four years playing in Germany in the Deutsche Eishockey Liga.
"[Kubalik] is someone we expect to have a similar impact next year. He led his team and his league in scoring in Switzerland. A dynamic offensive player, he's got size, speed and can score," Bowman said. "We're expecting him to be on the team."
Kubalik was originally drafted in the seventh round of the 2013 NHL Draft by Los Angeles. Though he hasn't joined the organization yet, Kubalik has a friend on the team in Kahun, who spoke about their relationship on Sunday afternoon.
"I'm good friends with Dominik and we texted already. I'm pretty sure he's going to take a good step. He's a great player," Kahun said. "He definitely can play in this league."