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Getting to Know: Dominik Kahun

by Michelle Crechiolo @PensInsideScoop / Penguins Team Reporter

The Penguins acquired Dominik Kahun from Chicago in exchange for Olli Maatta in June. On the ice, Kahun is a speedy, versatile player who fits into the fast, skilled style that the Penguins want to play. Learn more about the 24-year-old forward off the ice with this Q&A.

You were born in Czech Republic, but moved to Germany when you were 4. What was that like?

My parents got divorced and where I lived in Czech, it was just half an hour away from Germany, so lots of people commute. I still played hockey in Czech for a while, so my mom always drove me to practice from Germany.

Who did you idolize growing up?

I think because I still played hockey in Czech, it was Jaromir Jagr. Every Czech guy loves Jagr, probably (laughs). (At this point, Jared McCann cuts in: "I got to play with Jagr." Kahun: "You did? In Florida?" McCann: "Yeah, I was on his line. Assisted on his goal in Vancouver").

Do you speak both Czech and German?

Yes. I still speak to my parents only in Czech.

How proud are you to be part of both cultures?

It's nice. Obviously, speaking those languages and now English, it's good to know three languages. In the beginning it was hard because I didn't know what to choose, Czech or German. But then it was good, because to be in both, it's honestly nice.

Why did you end up representing Germany internationally?

Because I went to Germany to play when I was like 7. After that I played the whole time in Germany. I started with the Under-15 and Under-16 national team and I just stayed there.

Can you put into words your experience with Germany at the 2018 Winter Olympics?

It was the best thing that ever happened to me, (though) I hope that I win the Stanley Cup one day. But it was unbelievable because we won the silver medal there. It was almost impossible to win one. It was like a miracle.

Would you say your silver medal is your most prized possession?

Yeah, I would say so (laughs).

How did you first get started playing hockey?

I think because I was born in Czech, it's like here, everyone wants to play hockey. In Germany, I would have probably played soccer. My parents just put me on the ice once because I always watched hockey on the TV and then I wanted to go onto the ice, and I just really liked it. When I grew up, I actually played both sports and then I chose hockey. 

So what would you do if you didn't play hockey?

I always said I would be a soccer player. But I also think about tennis. I love tennis and I play that a lot. Here, everyone plays golf. I don't play much golf. I played for the first time at TopGolf. I'm going to try to get into it more now that I'm here.

What is your game-day routine?

Just the pregame skate, take the food home with me and try to eat. I set my alarm to nap for one and a half hours, but sometimes I can't fall asleep.

Do you have any superstitions?

To be honest, not really. I just think the whole day about the game, honestly.

What's your hockey nickname?

It was always Dom, but it's more Kuhner now.

What do you like to do on the plane?

Last year was my first time flying on the team plane. In Germany we flew only sometimes. So I like to hang out with the guys, talk to them. Last year when we had longer flights, I always had my Nintendo Switch, so I played on that. We played Mario Kart, but I'm a big FIFA guy, so I play that too.

What do you do when you're not at the rink?

In Germany, I hung out a lot with the guys. Last year in Chicago, lots of guys had families, so they just went home. So I would just hang out at my building and called my family and played video games. This year, my girlfriend is here so that's better. 

How many siblings do you have?

I've got a brother, Phillip, who is 17, and a sister, Karolina, who is 10. My family is very close. I'm a big family guy. With my brother, we always joke around and play video games. He's a soccer player and he's also good in hockey - in goal - so we play a lot of sports together. We're always battling each other. Nobody can lose. I used to always win, but now he's gotten stronger.

What's your ideal meal?

Steak and frites.

Are you a coffee drinker? If so, what's your order?

I'm not a big coffee drinker, but sometimes I get a vanilla latte.

What kind of music do you listen to?

Everything. I've got everything on my Spotify playlist, even some 90s. Along with Hip hop, rock and Top 40.

What's the phone app you use the most?

Instagram.

And finally, what are your early impressions of Pittsburgh?

Nice. I like it here. The guys are very nice and we have a good team, I think. Everyone talks with everyone. It's a good group of guys. I haven't seen much of downtown yet because I'm up here at the hotel in Cranberry right now, but we are going to move into our place in the city tomorrow, so I'm very excited.

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