Kühnhackl with the Penguins in 2017
21 January 1992 |
|Height||6 ft 2 in (188 cm)|
|Weight||196 lb (89 kg; 14 st 0 lb)|
|NHL Draft||110th overall, 2010
Tom Kühnhackl (born 21 January 1992) is a German ice hockey left winger who currently plays for the Pittsburgh Penguins of the National Hockey League (NHL). He has also played professionally for the Wilkes Barre/Scranton Penguins of the American Hockey League, and Augsburger Panther of the Deutsche Eishockey Liga, the top-tier hockey league of Germany. 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 twenty-fourth 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 during the 2009–10 season, playing four games with the Augsburger Panther. Kühnhackl was selected twenty-fourth overall in the 2009 CHL Import Draft by the Windsor Spitfires of the Ontario Hockey League. He intended to join the team for the 2009–10 OHL 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 OHL 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 Pittsburgh 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 2nd round picks in 2012, 2014 and 2015, and Niagara’s 1st round pick in the 2013 CHL Import Draft.
On 4 November 2011, Kühnhackl delivered an elbow to the head of Kitchener Rangers defencemen Ryan Murphy and was assessed a five-minute major for charging and game misconduct. In a website video, the Ontario Hockey League 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 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 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 he scored his first NHL goal, on a shorthanded breakaway during a game against the Tampa Bay Lightning.
On 14 March 2016, after recording 6 points in his first 28 games, including a 2 assist game against the New York Rangers the day before, Kühnhackl signed a 2-year contract extension with Pittsburgh along with fellow breakout players Scott Wilson, and Bryan Rust.
Kühnhackl had an impressive run with the Pittsburgh Penguins in the 2016 Stanley Cup Playoffs, defeating the New York Rangers (4–1), Washington Capitals (4–2), Tampa Bay Lightning (4–3), and the 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 Stanley Cup. In 2017, Kühnhackl became the first German-born NHL player to win the Stanley Cup twice with the same team.
He 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 won his first cap for the German men's national team in an exhibition game against France on 27 August 2016. Only a couple of days later, he scored the game-winning goal in the last encounter of the qualification tournament for the 2018 Olympics against host Latvia, which assured Germany a place in Pyeongchang.
Kühnhackl was born and raised in Landshut, Bavaria and first began to play hockey at the age of 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 playoffs
|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|
|2010||Germany||U18 Div I||5||4||2||6||2|
Awards and honours
|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. 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".
- sportschau.de (2016-08-27). "Eishockey-Länderspiel – Eishockey – Mehr Sport – sportschau.de". Retrieved 2016-08-27.
- "LAT vs GER – OGQME – International Ice Hockey Federation IIHF". groupe.pyeongchang2018.iihf.hockey. Retrieved 2016-09-04.
- 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. 2016-06-12. Retrieved 2016-06-12.
- "Penguins repeat as Stanley Cup champions". Canadian Broadcasting Corporation. 2017-06-11. Retrieved 2017-06-11.
- Crosby, Wes (May 27, 2016). "Penguins defeat Lightning, Stamkos in Game 7". NHL.com. Retrieved April 6, 2018.
- Crosby, Wes (May 26, 2017). "Penguins defeat Senators in 2OT of Game 7, return to Cup Final". NHL.com. Retrieved April 6, 2018.