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Behind The Bench: Evander Kane

by on 09/13/2011

Vitals

Born: Vancouver, BC, CAN
Birth date: August 2, 1991
Height: 6’2” (188 cm)
Weight: 195 lbs (88 kg)
Position: Left Wing
Shoots: Left
NHL Draft: 4th overall by the Atlanta Thrashers in 2009
NHL Team: Winnipeg Jets
Jersey No.: #9
National Team: Canada
NHL Contract: 11/12
Cap Hit: $3,100,000

History

Kane was drafted 19th overall by the Vancouver Giants in the 2006 WHL Bantam Draft after spending the season with the Greater Vancouver Canadians of the BCMML. Kane joined the Giants immediately after being drafted for the remaining 8 regular season games and 5 playoff games. Kane tallied 1 goal through 13 games.

Due to mononucleosis, Kane was forced to miss the start of training camp but recovered and had a great rookie season with the Giants. He tallied 24 goals and 17 assists in his first WHL season. In his sophomore season, Kane surpassed Adam Courchaine’s team record of 43 goals in a season by 5. He finished his second season in the WHL with 48 goals and 48 assists, for 96 points. Kane and linemate, Casey Pierro-Zabotel (115) finished the second one-two in all-time Giant’s single-season scoring, surpassing Gilbert Brule’s previous 87-point mark. By the end of the season, Kane was ranked third overall among North American skaters, behind John Tavares and Matt Duchene, and first in the WHL by NHL Central Scouting. He was then selected 4th overall by the Atlanta Thrashers at the 2009 NHL Entry Draft. Kane became the highest drafted Vancouver Giants player in the history of the franchise and the highest drafted black player in NHL History. The Thrashers signed Kane to a three-year entry level contract on July 20, 2009.

Kane made the Thrashers’ lineup out of training camp and made his debut on October 3, 2009 where he earned his first NHL point and assist on a Rich Peverley goal. Kane finished his rookie season with 14 goals and 26 points in 66 games. He finished 12th among rookie scoring. A memorable moment from Kane’s rookie season occurred during the Thrashers’ last game of the season. Kane was challenged to a fight by Pittsburgh Penguins, Matt Cooke and Kane landed two punches on Cooke’s jaw, knocking him unconscious for several minutes.

Kane battled through several minor injuries in his sophomore season. Kane suffered a left knee injury, an arm injury, and a lower-body injury which caused him to miss 10 games during the 2010-11 season. Kane finished the season playing in 72 games, recording 19 goals and 24 assists for 43 points. He finished third on the team in scoring behind Andrew Ladd and Bryan Little.

During the off-season, the Atlanta Thrasher’s franchise was purchased by True North Sports and Entertainment, and relocated to Winnipeg. True North renamed the team the “Winnipeg Jets”. Kane has expressed his excitement about the chance to play in a Canadian hockey market.

Talent Analysis

Pros

  • NHL size
  • Pure goal scoring instincts
  • Good passing ability
  • Physical and gritty competitor
  • Doesn’t shy from battles in the corners
  • Superb skater with excellent acceleration
  • Hard shot with a quick release
  • Consistent performer
  • Sticks up for his teammates

Cons

  • Lacks high-end on-ice vision to be a great playmaker
  • Could use some more weight and strength

Future

Kane is another power forward from Vancouver, BC, very much like Milan Lucic, Kane has the potential to become an elite power forward. The Winnipeg Jets will likely build their new franchise around future linemates Kane and Alex Burmistrov, as well as, talented young rearguard, Zach Bogosian. Kane has the potential to be a perennial 30-goal scorer like Jarome Iginla and with a talented playmaker in Burmistrov, he should eclipse 40 goals at least once in his career.

Kane is still a year or two away from reaching his potential but once he reaches it, he can produce 70-80 points a season.

Whatever Kane accomplishes during the 2011-12 season, it should only be considered a preview of what’s to come.

NHL Highlights

  • Drafted 4th overall in the 2009 NHL Entry Draft
  • 1st NHL Game Played – October 3rd, 2009 vs. Tampa Bay Lightning (6-3 W)
  • 1st NHL Point – October 3rd, 2009 vs. Tampa Bay Lightning (Assist)
  • 1st NHL Goal – October 8th, 2009 vs. St. Louis Blues
  • 1st NHL Assist – October 3rd, 2009 vs. Tampa Bay Lightning
  • 1st NHL Multi-point Game – November 12, 2009 vs. New York Rangers (1 goal, 1 assist)

Career Highlights

  • 2005-06 WHL Champion
  • 2006-07 CHL Memorial Cup Champion
  • 2007-08 Jim Piggott Memorial Trophy Nominee
  • 2007-08 Ivan Hlinka Memorial Tournament Gold Medal
  • 2008-09 U20 WJC Gold Medal
  • 2008-09 CHL Top Draft Prospect Award Nominee
  • 2008-09 CHL Top Prospects Game Captain
  • 2008-09 WHL (West) First All-Star Team

Career Stats

BCMML: 30 GP, 22 Goals, 32 A, 54 Pts
Memorial Cup:
2 GP, 0 G, 1 A, 1 Pt
NHL:
139 GP, 33 G, 36 A, 69 Pts
WC:
14 GP, 2 G, 4 A, 6 Pts
WHC-17:
6 GP, 4 G, 3 A, 7 Pts
WHL:
134 GP, 73 G, 65 A, 138 Pts
WHL Playoffs:
32 GP, 8 G, 10 A, 18 Pts
WJC-20:
6 GP, 2 G, 4 A, 6 Pts

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