Dominik Kubalik – A Steal of a Deal for the Detroit Red Wings

Dominik Kubalik has seemingly revived his NHL career since joining the Detroit Red Wings, and looks to be a key contributor for the rest of the season.

It's been a tremendous start to the season for Dominik Kubalik. When it was announced that the Detroit Red Wings had signed forward Dominik Kubalik, we weren't exactly sure what player Detroit was getting. Was it going to be the guy who scored 30 goals in his rookie season with the Chicago Blackhawks? Or perhaps the guy that scored a combined 32 goals over the next two seasons? So far, the return has been outstanding.

Dominik Kubalik's Production

As a team, the Red Wings have scored a total of 22 goals through six games. Dominik Kubalik has factored in on 10 of them, scoring four and adding six assists. Considering that the team signed him to a two-year contract worth just $5 million, this is far and away a fantastic start to the season.

To go with his 30-goal rookie season, he also added 16 assists for 46 points. His goal contributions went down the next season in Chicago, with just 17. He did increase his assist total, however. With 21 assists, he finished his second NHL season with 38 points, though he only played in 58 games. Last season, his final with Chicago, he potted 15 goals and added 17 assists for 32 points in 78 games.

Hot Start in Detroit

His Red Wings career has gotten off to an extremely hot start though. He has spent the bulk of his time filling in on the first line with Dylan Larkin and Lucas Raymond. Some may have been concerned that he might not be able to keep up with Larkin's ridiculously fast rate of play, but that has not been the case so far.

The Red Wings scored 249 goals last season, the eighth-lowest mark in the league. Through a small six-game sample size, they are on pace to score exactly 300 at this point. Kubalik's contributions will play a big role in determining whether or not they are able to reach that mark or anything close to it.

Factors in Dominik Kubalik's Ability to Contribute

Another factor in determining whether or not Dominik Kubalik will continue to succeed will be the play of his linemates, no matter which line he plays on. So far, Lucas Raymond has struggled to score. He has just two points (both assists) right now. If someone's linemates aren't producing, it makes it harder for them to post points as well, obviously. Larkin has not struggled at all, posting eight points in those six games. The play of linemates is a story for another time though.

It will be interesting to see where head coach Derek Lalonde slots Dominik Kubalik in the lineup when players start returning. First-line fixture Tyler Bertuzzi suffered an upper-body injury in the second game of the year and was said to be out for four-to-six weeks. Jakub Vrana has also been out since the second game after being placed in the NHL/NHLPA Player Assistance Program. No timetable for his return has been announced.

Dominik Kubalik's History in the NHL

Selected in the seventh round of the 2013 NHL Draft by the Los Angeles Kings, Kubalik never played a game with the team that drafted him. He played overseas in the Czech and Swiss-A leagues from 2011-2019, when Los Angeles traded him to Chicago for a fifth-round draft pick. In 208 career NHL games, he has 66 goals to go with 60 assists.

Generally speaking, Dominik Kubalik was not brought to Detroit to play on the first line. If he continues to produce at this rate though, they may not have a choice but to keep him there.