New York Islanders Sign Tom Kuhnhackl

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Tom Kuhnackl
PITTSBURGH, PA - MAY 07: Pittsburgh Penguins right wing Tom Kuhnhackl (34) handles the puck during the first period. The Washington Capitals went on win 2-1 in the overtime period against the Pittsburgh Penguins in Game Six of the Eastern Conference Second Round during the 2018 NHL Stanley Cup Playoffs on May 7, 2018, at PPG Paints Arena in Pittsburgh, PA. The Capitals won the series 4-2 and advance to the Eastern Conference Final. (Photo by Jeanine Leech/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images)

The New York Islanders signed free agent right wing Tom Kuhnhackl to a one-year contract worth $650,000. Kuhnackl became an unrestricted free agent when he did not receive a qualifying offer from the Pittsburgh Penguins.

Tom Kuhnhackl Signs With the New York Islanders

Kuhnhackl has played his entire three-year NHL  career with the Pittsburgh Penguins. He has put up 11 goals and 28 assists for 39 career points in 168 career games. Kuhnhackl has another three goals and four assists in 47 career playoff games. He was originally drafted in the fourth round, 110 overall of the 2010 NHL Entry Draft by the Penguins.

Last season he scored two goals and six assists for eight points. He also added six minutes in penalties. His possession numbers were 43.5 percent Corsi-for and a relative Corsi of -9.6.

What This Means for the Future

Kuhnhackl’s possession numbers leave much to be desired with a career relative Corsi of -7.8. But he’s also had a career 67.7 percent defensive zone starts which hurt his Corsi numbers to some degree. He doesn’t bring a lot of offensive ability to the table, but he is a capable checker and shot blocker.

Kuhnhackl does bring playoff experience to the Islanders. With two Stanley Cup rings, Kuhnhackl was a depth player for the Penguins on both their recent Stanley Cup Championships. With 47 games of playoff experience, including 24 games in Pittsburgh’s 2016 Stanley Cup Championship run, Kuhnhackl will be a welcome addition come playoff time.

He is primarily a fourth line player, but he was also a decent penalty killer for Pittsburgh with three career shorthanded goals. The Islanders will look for him to contribute on both the penalty kill and improve his even-strength possession numbers.

He failed to register a single point in 12 playoff games for Pittsburgh this past season. The Penguins did not offer Kuhnhackl a qualifying offer this offseason, allowing him to enter unrestricted free agency.

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