New York Islanders: Stanley Cup Playoffs Profile, Tom Kuhnhackl

New York Islanders. Tom Kuhnhackl. (Photo by Bruce Bennett/Getty Images)
New York Islanders. Tom Kuhnhackl. (Photo by Bruce Bennett/Getty Images) /

We officially know that the New York Islanders will be hosting the Penguins in the first round and perhaps no one is more familiar with them than Tom Kuhnhackl. Here is his profile.

As someone who has only played in 36 games for the New York Islanders, Tom Kuhnhackl is for sure not one of the names that many people are thinking of when it comes to who could end up playing a big role on the Islanders. Really all season, Kuhnhackl has been in as injury depth. He is that classic Lou Lamoriello signing who is a grinder, not that glorifying, but has been there before.

This season, Kuhnhackl has not even played in half the games. He has a whopping nine points. Just four goals and five assists. He is not an everyday player, he is not an everyday player. But what he is, and this is perhaps the best thing an Islander could be right now, is a two-time Stanley Cup Champion. He was part of the Penguins teams that won two of the last three Stanley Cups.

Having been there, with the Penguins, who still have the same coach and much of the same stars as they did during their cups runs, it could be Kuhnhackl, who is not the best player who could help the Islanders better understand their first round foes. As someone who spent so much time with them, could Kuhnhackl help the Islanders crack the Penguins’ code? Barry Trtoz did it last year as coach of the Caps, but Kuhnhackl was from within.

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Extraordinarily enough, Kuhnhackl has played in more career playoffs games then he has in regular season games for the Islanders this year. He has played in just 36 games for the Islanders this year, but 47 playoff games in his career. In those games, he has seven points. But again, he is not really much of a scorer. Just a guy who can log important minutes and play the game hard. He has just three career playoff goals, but has logged significant penalty kill minutes and again, is a grinder.

Perhaps his best feat was the 24 games he played in the 2015-2016 Penguins Cup run. That was the first of their two straight and he played in most of that postseason, his best taste of playoff hockey.

While Kuhnhackl is now on the Islanders, and in a totally different system, I would like to imagine that a huge part of him getting signed in July had to do with his experience not only winning multiple cups and logging recent playoff minutes, but also doing it with a division rival.

Now with Valtteri Filppula back, it seems like it might be a tad more difficult to pencil Kuhnhackl into a significant role, but his playoff experience will still not go to waste either way, I would like to think Trotz will find a role for him regardless.

Every championship has some things that are intangible. Talent, hard work, playing smart, and playing hard are things you can physically see while watching the game, however the kind of experience Kuhnhackl has and how he can use that to help the Islanders is a great asset to have, considering the heart of this team is inexperienced in the playoffs.

Next. Josh Bailey's Playoff Profile. dark

Just get to me to Wednesday, where the Islanders will host a Game 1 for the first time since I have been alive.