Dominik Kahun: “silver was a huge step”

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A year ago the German football Team caught up in Pyeongchang Olympic silver. Striker Dominik Kahun and now playing in the NHL. In a DW Interview he talks about memories of Olympia and the step to North America.

DW: Dominik Kahun, exactly a year ago, they were with the German ice hockey national team just a Minute away to win the Olympic Gold. Today you will play in the NHL. How far away Pyeongchang feels for you?

Dominik Kahun: the fact that I got the silver medal with me always, the memories come again and again. But of course, it’s been a long time, and I focus on the here and now, to Chicago and think from game to game. But of course I will never forget the experience.

You can now play even in the first row, the Chicago Blackhawks and a lot of effort to get time. How big is the step from the DEL to the NHL?

Of course, you can compare it or not, it is a whole other world. The biggest difference is the number of games is easy. You play every second or third day, it never comes to rest. It is not like in Munich where you train the whole week and only on weekends, but you have to be ready to motivate yourself every other day on the next opponent and the next Match.

What was it like to score the first goal in the NHL, and what have you felt, as you in the “Winter Game” in front of 76,000 spectators, a hit is a success?

Every year a huge Event: The Winter Game in the Football stadium of Notre Dame

Of course the first NHL goal was one of my most beautiful ever. I was able to score a goal in the “Winter Game”, was something Special. I’ve now done every big Event, a goal at the world Cup, at the Olympic games, in the Playoff Finals of the DEL and the NHL. I have done this also in the “Winter Game”, the next big Event, that makes it all the more beautiful.

You have been invited to the training camp of the Chicago Blackhawks in the summer and have made it into the Team. It has surprised the self, or they had expected that they would also prevail in the case of a big club?

Of course that was the goal, with the I crossed over. It would go so quickly, I did not expect before, necessarily, or that I get the Chance to play in the first series. I knew, however, that I can do it, and I already had the self-confidence you build with experience.

Let us know about your development speak: they are changed in 2012 as a 17-Year-old to the Sudbury Wolves in a canadian youth League and started two years later, her professional career at Red Bull Munich. How important was it for your development to play for a couple of years on the smaller ice surfaces in one of the best youth leagues in the world? And how important were the years in the DEL?

Sudbury was for my development is very important to take this step and to go to North America. My time in Munich has helped me very much, that was my first professional team, as I was able to take from the other, more experienced players a lot of things. What it means to be a professional, how to behave, on and off the ice. This was very important for me.

Between 2016 and 2018, Dominik Kahun, with Red Bull Munich three times the German champion

Ice hockey is in Germany, what is the audience in terms of interest, far behind football. They believe that successes such as their silver medal in Pyeongchang in children and adolescents in Germany can trigger a football Boom?

To win the silver medal, was a giant step forward. But ice hockey is in Germany is still very far from where the leaders would like to see it. And we all know that football is for all times will remain the number one sport in Germany.

Currently, six German in the NHL, which is a significant increase to the times when there were only one or two German NHL professionals play. The former Federal trainer Marco Sturm is the first coach in the NHL, has learned to play in Germany, ice hockey. He works as an assistant coach of the Los Angeles Kings. How important is it for the development of the German ice hockey German player and now a coach in the best League in the world?

It is the Same as with the Olympics. It is simply a good advertisement for the football and shows that more and more Germans are capable of, in North America, to enforce, whether as a player or coach. It should be a Motivation for the Rest of the players play in Germany or in Europe. You can see that it is, if you have success with Germany, and in the DEL plays well. I think that with time, more and more Scouts to Germany will look. I am convinced, therefore, that more and more Germans will get a Chance in the NHL.

Dominik Kahun with Toni Söderholm (l.)

Finally, a question for the national team: Marco Sturm has improved the German Team strongly highlight the silver medal in South Korea. What do you know about the new national coach, the still quite inexperienced Toni Söderholm? How confident are you about the future under his leadership?

I played together with Toni three years ago in Munich. He was a defender. At the time, I quickly realized what a great guy he is. He can really communicate well with the players. You will feel comfortable under him, and I look forward to the time with him.

Dominik Kahun, 23, has been playing this season as a forward for the Chicago Blackhawks of the National Hockey League (NHL). Born In the Czech Republic, he came as a child to Germany and learned to play ice hockey, among others in the youth Department of the Adler Mannheim. For two years he played for the Sudbury Wolves in the Ontario Hockey League (OHL), a canadian youth League, before he started his professional career at DEL-club Red Bull Munich.

The Interview was conducted by Chuck Penfold