Tom Kühnhackl (born 21 January 1992) is a German professional ice hockey player who currently plays for the New York Islanders of the National Hockey League (NHL). He has also played professionally in the NHL with the Pittsburgh Penguins, as well as for Augsburger Panther of the Deutsche Eishockey Liga (DEL), the top-tier hockey league of Germany.
Kühnhackl with the Pittsburgh Penguins in 2017
21 January 1992|
|Height||6 ft 2 in (188 cm)|
|Weight||196 lb (89 kg; 14 st 0 lb)|
New York Islanders|
110th overall, 2010|
He was a top-ranked prospect for the 2010 NHL Entry Draft, ranked eighth among European skaters by the NHL Central Scouting Bureau, and was selected 110th overall by the Pittsburgh Penguins. Kühnhackl was selected by the Windsor Spitfires 24th overall in the 2009 CHL Import Draft and moved to North America for the 2010–11 season. After several seasons with the Penguins' minor league affiliates, Kühnhackl made his NHL debut with the team in 2016.
Kühnhackl played youth hockey for the Landshut Cannibals program for three seasons beginning in 2007 alongside Tobias Rieder. He made his professional debut during the 2008–09 season, playing 42 games with Landshut's professional team in the 2nd Bundesliga, the second-highest level in Germany. He debuted in the Deutsche Eishockey Liga (DEL) during the 2009–10 season, playing four games with the Augsburger Panther.
Kühnhackl was selected 24th overall in the 2009 Canadian Hockey League Import Draft by the Ontario Hockey League (OHL)'s Windsor Spitfires. He intended to join the team for the 2009–10 season, but a series of injuries kept him in Germany. In May 2010, he signed a contract with the Spitfires to join the team for the 2010–11 season.
Ranked as the eighth-best European skater of the 2010 draft class by the NHL Central Scouting Bureau, Kühnhackl was selected 110th overall by the Pittsburgh Penguins in the 2010 NHL Entry Draft. Kühnhackl was happy to be drafted by Pittsburgh, as he listed the Penguins as his favorite team.
On 22 March 2011, he signed a three-year, entry-level contract with the Penguins worth $1.83 million.
Kühnhackl finished the 2010–11 season with 39 goals and 29 assists for 68 points in 63 games with Windsor. He played four games with the Spitfires to start the 2011–12 season, recording one goal and three assists, before he was traded (along with Windsor's second round choice in the 2013 CHL Import Draft) on 2 November 2011 to the Niagara IceDogs in exchange for Phillip Di Giuseppe, Jaroslav Pavelka, Niagara's second-round picks in 2012, 2014 and 2015 and Niagara's first-round pick in the 2013 CHL Import Draft.
On 4 November 2011, Kühnhackl delivered an elbow to the head of Kitchener Rangers defenceman Ryan Murphy and was assessed a five-minute major for charging and game misconduct. In a website video, the OHL noted that Kühnhackl made contact with the opponent's head and hit a vulnerable, unsuspecting player. The OHL also considered the speed and distance travelled when making its decision and noted that Murphy was injured on the play. On 8 November 2011, OHL president David Branch announced that Kühnhackl would be suspended for 20 games as a result of the hit.
Kühnhackl made his professional debut in the 2012–13 season with the Pittsburgh Penguins' American Hockey League (AHL) affiliate, the Wilkes-Barre/Scranton Penguins, but was sidelined by injury after only 11 games. On 2 December 2012, Kühnhackl dislocated his shoulder, requiring season ending surgery.
On 20 February 2016, Kühnhackl scored his first NHL goal, a shorthanded breakaway goal during a game against the Tampa Bay Lightning. On 14 March, after recording 6 points in his first 28 games, including a two-assist game against the New York Rangers the day before, Kühnhackl signed a two-year contract extension with Pittsburgh, along with fellow breakout players Scott Wilson and Bryan Rust.
Kühnhackl had an impressive run with the Penguins in the 2016 Stanley Cup playoffs, defeating the New York Rangers (4–1), Washington Capitals (4–2), Tampa Bay Lightning (4–3) and San Jose Sharks (4–2) to clinch the Stanley Cup. He became the third German-born NHL player (after Uwe Krupp and Dennis Seidenberg) to win the Cup. In 2017, after the Penguins repeated as Stanley Cup champions, Kühnhackl became the first German-born NHL player to win the Stanley Cup twice with the same team.
After the conclusion of the 2017–18 season, his sixth season within the Penguins' organization, Kühnhackl was unable to agree to terms on a new contract as a restricted free agent. On 25 June 2018, he was not tendered a qualifying offer and was released to explore the free agent market. On 2 July, as a free agent, he signed a one-year contract with the New York Islanders.
Kühnhackl has represented Germany internationally, playing in the 2008 and 2009 World U-17 Hockey Challenge, the 2009 and 2010 IIHF World U18 Championships, and the 2010 and 2011 IIHF World U20 Championships.
He first played for the German national team in an exhibition game against France on 27 August 2016. A couple of days later, he scored the game-winning goal in the last game of the qualification tournament for the 2018 Winter Olympics against host Latvia, which gave Germany a place in Pyeongchang.
Kühnhackl was born and raised in Landshut, Bavaria, and first began to play hockey at age two. His father, Erich, played in the top German leagues from 1968 until 1989 and appeared in five Winter Olympics for West Germany. He was named Germany's ice hockey player of the 20th century in 2000. Kühnhackl has been a lifelong fan of the Pittsburgh Penguins, the team that drafted him. He got his start in hockey at age five, following in his family's footsteps—his brother, sister and dad all played hockey in Germany.
Regular season and playoffsEdit
|2007–08||EV Landshut U18||DNL||30||21||21||42||97||3||1||1||2||2|
|2008–09||EV Landshut U18||DNL||6||4||3||7||31||7||5||5||10||27|
|2018–19||New York Islanders||NHL||36||4||5||9||10||8||0||3||3||2|
|2018–19||Bridgeport Sound Tigers||AHL||1||2||1||3||0||—||—||—||—||—|
|2010||Germany||U18 Div I||5||4||2||6||2|
Awards and honoursEdit
|Stanley Cup Champion||2016, 2017|||
|Prince of Wales Trophy Champion||2016, 2017|||
- "Tom Kuhnhackl player profile". Eliteprospects.com. 1 October 2010. Retrieved 1 October 2010.
- Parker, Jim (23 February 2010). "Kuhnhackl to join Spits next season". Windsor Star. Windsor, Ontario. Archived from the original on 1 March 2010. Retrieved 7 June 2010.
- Duff, Bob (31 May 2010). "Son of German hockey legend Kuhnhackl hopes to play for Spitfires". Windsor Star. Windsor, Ontario. Archived from the original on 8 November 2012. Retrieved 7 June 2010.
- Kasan, Sam (26 June 2010). "Penguins Day 2 Draft Picks". PittsburghPenguins.com. Retrieved 28 June 2010.
- "Penguins sign draft pick Kuhnhackl". Pittsburgh Penguins. 22 March 2011. Retrieved 25 March 2011.
- Niagara IceDogs (2 November 2011). "IceDogs Acquire Kuhnhackl from Windsor". NiagaraIceDogs.net. Retrieved 2 November 2011.
- "Getting to Know: Tom Kuhnhackl". nhl.com.
- "Tom Kuhnhackl celebrates with Cup in Germany".
- "Kuhnhackl agrees to terms on a one-year contract". New York Islanders. 2 July 2018. Retrieved 2 July 2018.
- sportschau.de (27 August 2016). "Eishockey-Länderspiel – Eishockey – Mehr Sport – sportschau.de". Retrieved 27 August 2016.
- "LAT vs GER – OGQME – International Ice Hockey Federation IIHF". groupe.pyeongchang2018.iihf.hockey. Retrieved 4 September 2016.
- Siedling, Jason (17 July 2010). "Life-Long Penguins Fan Kuehnhackl Prepares For North American Migration". PittsburghPenguins.com. Retrieved 17 July 2010.
- "Penguins win Stanley Cup, defeat Sharks in Game 6". National Hockey League. 12 June 2016. Retrieved 12 June 2016.
- "Penguins repeat as Stanley Cup champions". Canadian Broadcasting Corporation. 11 June 2017. Retrieved 11 June 2017.
- Crosby, Wes (27 May 2016). "Penguins defeat Lightning, Stamkos in Game 7". NHL.com. Retrieved 6 April 2018.
- Crosby, Wes (26 May 2017). "Penguins defeat Senators in 2OT of Game 7, return to Cup Final". NHL.com. Retrieved 6 April 2018.