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Maatta traded to Blackhawks by Penguins for Kahun, fifth-round pick

Defenseman won Stanley Cup twice with Pittsburgh; forward had 37 points in rookie season @NHLdotcom

Olli Maatta was traded to the Chicago Blackhawks by the Pittsburgh Penguins on Saturday for Dominik Kahun and a fifth-round pick in the 2019 NHL Draft.

Maatta, a 24-year-old defenseman, won the Stanley Cup with the Penguins in 2016 and 2017. He had 14 points (one goal, 13 assists), 116 blocked shots and 97 hits in 60 games this season, one season after playing 82 games and tying his NHL career high with 29 points (seven goals, 22 assists).


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"I like his overall game. He finds the open man, can quickly move it up to forwards," Blackhawks general manager Stan Bowman said of Maatta. "The biggest thing is his ability to play a sound, defensive game. We weren't strong in that aspect last year. He's going to give us that ability to match up against players with his pedigree.

"He's a young guy, but he's already played more than 300 games, [69] playoff games and has a couple of Cups. I think he'll fit in nicely with our group."

The Blackhawks (36-34-12) missed the playoffs for the second straight season, finishing six points behind the Colorado Avalanche for the second wild card into the postseason from the Western Conference this season, but Maatta is excited to be heading to Chicago.

"Definitely didn't expect [a trade] last night when I went to sleep," Maatta said. "I knew something might happen this summer. I wasn't sure if it really was or not, so obviously a little bit of a surprise when I heard it, but definitely didn't come out of nowhere. I knew something might happen. You know what, I'm just happy to play in a great organization that I'm going to be a part of.

"They want to win, and that's a huge thing. I know going in it's a proud team and last year missing playoffs technically wasn't good enough. They all want to get better. I'm happy about that."

Maatta was a healthy scratch for the last three games of a first-round sweep by the New York Islanders in the Eastern Conference First Round this season.

"I have a special affection for Olli. He's a good a guy as you can find," Penguins general manager Jim Rutherford told The Athletic. "He's a good player too. Gone through a lot of adversity and has worked hard to get through it."

Maatta had shoulder surgery in May 2014. He then reinjured the shoulder during the 2014-15 season, requiring another surgery, and missed time this season with another shoulder injury. Maatta also had surgery in November to treat low-grade thyroid cancer.

"There's a lot of things to like about him, certainly his strength in the last few seasons, his ability to be a good, reliable defender," Bowman said. "He has good size. He's not necessarily a bruising defenseman, but I like the fact that he has an active stick and he's good at using his body to shield the front of the net. And I think he's shown the ability to be used in several situations in the past."

Selected by Pittsburgh with the No. 22 pick in the 2012 NHL Draft, Maatta has 107 points (25 goals, 82 assists) in 362 games over six NHL seasons. He has three seasons remaining on his contract with an average annual value of $4.083 million.

Kahun, a 23-year-old forward, had 37 points (13 goals, 24 assists) in 82 games with the Blackhawks this season, his first in the NHL. His plus-10 rating was best among Chicago forwards, and he was eighth in goals and fourth in assists among NHL rookies.

"I like that the coach trusts me in those situations," Kahun told the Chicago Tribune in March. "I know I can play whatever position he needs me. I can play left, right, center. I just try to work [as] hard as possible and try to earn my spot."

He was signed as an undrafted free agent and has one season remaining on his entry-level contract at $925,000.

"He had a good first year," Rutherford said of Kahun. "He was signed as a center and moved to wing, which is something you've seen from a lot of my own players over the years. But he can play all three forward positions. He's an exceptional skater and has good hands, incredible skill. ... If you get a player like that, and he can move up and down your lineup, it gives [us] some versatility that I think we need."

Pittsburgh also received the No. 151 pick in the upcoming NHL Draft. staff writer Tracey Myers contributed to this report

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