(Pittsburgh, PA) – “Unbelievable.” That was the way the 24-year-old Kühnhackl described winning the Stanley Cup after the Penguins 3-1 victory over the Sharks in game six of the finals in San Jose, California.
“It’s unbelievable what has happened this year,” he told NHL.com. “I just can’t describe it. The adjustment at the beginning was really hard, but now I am standing here. I cannot believe it.”
Kühnhackl moved to North America at age 18, and made his NHL debut in January. He went on to appear 42 times this season for the Penguins, and played in all but one of his team’s 25 playoff matches.
He is the third German to win the Stanley Cup after Uwe Krupp with the Colorado Avalanche in 1996, and Dennis Seidenberg with the Boston Bruins in 2011.
Kühnhackl comes from a storied hockey background. His father Erich is considered among the best players to ever play the sport in Germany, and helped the national team to a bronze medal at the 1976 Olympics.
“I think it is really important for Tom because he went through a very difficult period,” Erich told NHL.com. “He was injured a lot and fought throught it and went on his way and never stopped.”