25-Year-Old Left Wing – Buffalo Sabres
Evander Kane Contract Information:
Kane signed a six-year, $31.5 million deal with the Jets in September of 2012.
Kane led all Sabres with 28 goals -- his highest total in five seasons -- although he added just 15 assists in 70 games.
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RotoWire's Preseason Outlooks
Kane reputation is what it is -- the guy can only work to prove that thereís more to the man than the youthful mistakes heís made. Heís coming into Buffalo with a burning desire to prove those detractors wrong, and heíll be well equipped to do it. Heís a consistent scoring threat while on the ice because of that delicious combination of elite speed, physicality, and a rocket shot. Kane is coming off shoulder surgery, so it may take all of training camp for him to round into shape. But he can be a 50-plus point power winger who delivers 75 PIM and first-unit power-play production this season. Heíll probably start alongside Ryan OíReilly, but donít be surprised to see him develop chemistry with franchise center, Jack Eichel. Kane brings definite value in single-year formats, though dynasty owners need to grab the 24-year-old even earlier.
By all accounts, Kaneís 2013-14 campaign was a disappointment. The talented winger posted just 19 goals, 22 assists and 66 PIM in 63 games, and was even a healthy scratch a couple times throughout the year. Yes, he did have trouble battling through a hand injury, but the Jets and fantasy owners alike expected more out of Kane by this point. The former No. 4 overall pick is now 23 years old and after five full seasons in the NHL, he should be entering his prime production years, not trending downward. Thereís been speculation that both he and the Jets may be unhappy with their current relationship, but fantasy owners will just have to accept him for what he is until the team pulls the trigger on a trade. He should line up next to Mark Scheifele and Blake Wheeler this season, giving him every opportunity to show why heís still considered one of the elite scoring talents in the NHL, despite his recent lack of production. Fantasy owners should be careful not to reach for him in their drafts, but he certainly holds a lot of potential if he can be picked up in the right spot.
Although he had surgery on his foot in the offseason, Kane will be good to go for the 2013-14 season and will most likely start the year on the team's second line with Olli Jokinen and the newly-acquired Devin Setoguchi, who came from the Wild via trade. The former fourth overall pick showed once again last year that he has the skill and shooting ability to maintain a 30-goal pace, and given that he's now entering his prime, he should be able to pick his game up a notch, with 30+ goals and 60+ points now becoming more of an expected result rather than a mere hope.
Kane enters his fourth professional season with all the right kinds of momentum: 2012 saw No. 9 record his highest goals total so far in his young career with 30. He will likely be playing for a new contract and the 21-year old was able to finish the second half of last year injury-free after struggling with concussion symptoms in December and January. Though Kane has yet to fully realize his potential as a fourth-overall draft selection, the Vancouver native is trending in the right direction. Bump him up a few spots in keeper leagues, and his 53 penalty minutes make a nice bonus for those in leagues that reward sin bin points.
Kane posted 19 goals and 24 assists for 43 points for a solid sophomore campaign last season. His minus-12 rating in 2010-11 was similar to that of the majority of Jets players and will probably improve this season. Kane's conditioning and talent mean the sky is the limit for him this year. Expect Kane to top 20 goals and 50 points in 2011-12. He's worth drafting once the proven stars have been chosen.
Posting 14 goals and 12 assists for 26 points in 66 games in his rookie season, Kane began his NHL career with a solid showing despite being just 19 years old. Thrashers coach John Anderson did provide Kane with an opportunity to play on the teamís top two lines and thereís no reason not to expect the same in Year 2. Although Kane is still likely a year or two away from a true breakout performance, his size and talent are capable of delivering and there is no doubt he has star potential. He will continue to improve as the team in Atlanta gets stronger, and if he can get closer to a full 82-game season than the 66 he played as a rookie, we could see Kane reach 20 goals and 30-40 points as a second-year player.
The Thrashers drafted Kane with the first-round, fourth overall pick in the 2009 NHL Entry Draft. Kane, who is still 17, registered 96 points in 61 games with the Vancouver Giants of the Western hockey league last season. He ranked second in goals overall with 48. Kane is a very talented young player who will make a definite impact in the NHL. It may not be this season due to his age and needs some seasoning, but with the Thrashers hurting for another offensive threat, he could be brought up mid to late season.