It has now been just over a week since the 2018 NHL Trade Deadline with all respective players having debuted upon acquisition and with just a matter of weeks left to play prior to postseason action, teams are starting to see changes both defensively and offensively.
When you look at some of the talent that has been shifted as of late, one particular name stands out in veteran 26-year-old left winger Evander Kane.
Kane was acquired by the San Jose Sharks in a deal that sent a 2019 conditional draft selection, a 2020 conditional draft selection and Forward Danny O’Regan to the Buffalo Sabres in return.
The 26-year-old native of Vancouver, British Columbia, quickly made himself at home with his new team at SAP Arena while getting the chance to play alongside the likes of defensemen Brett Burns.
Kane has also bonded with Joe Pavelski, Logan Couture as well as Joe Thornton, both of whom have put the franchise in the position in which they currently stand at this time.
Kane was not the only roster addition made by general manager Doug Wilson as he also brought aboard veteran centreman Eric Fehr from the Toronto Maple Leafs whom he sent a seventh-round draft pick in the 2020 NHL Draft to in exchange.
Kane opened the season alongside Jack Eichel and Ryan O’Reilly in a city where he has spent more time with off the ice due to injuries keeping him sidelined for extended periods of time.
Under the management of head coach Phil Housley, the former first-round pick (4th overall) of the Atlanta Thrashers, now Winnipeg Jets, had been in the Sabres organization for almost three full seasons where he appeared in 196 games played while scoring 68 goals, racking up 50 assists and recording a total of 118 points.
Now in full health and looking to provide the Sharks with an upgrade for their currently depleted forward group, Kane has gone above and beyond expectations early on as the pending unrestricted free agent has racked up 4 assists while recording 5 points in a total of just four games played so far.
Kane scored his first goal as a member of the Sharks on Tuesday February 27th as part of a 5-2 winning effort against the Edmonton Oilers on home ice and looks to continue producing in the days and weeks to come to guide the rising club to a strong regular season conclusion.
At this time, San Jose stands with a record of 36-22-9, therefore, will try to maintain their playoff spot in the West with April right around the corner.
According to ESPN, Buffalo will receive a conditional first-round pick in 2019 if Kane re-signs with the Sharks, however, it will be a second-rounder if he opts to sign elsewhere. TSN adds on that the pick will stay put at No. 1 if the Sharks win the Stanley Cup.
In a statement from Sabres general manager Jason Botterill, he said, “It was a difficult market for rentals. I think the younger players in the league certainly got a good reward, players with term certainly got a good reward.”
Further more, he continued, “But it was a scenario where we had a lot of conversations out there and certainly a lot of interest, but I think you saw with the rental market for rental players it was more of a difficult market than previous years.”
As for Kane’s take on the transaction which was expected, he said, “This is a great opportunity. Excitement probably doesn’t do it enough justice too how I feel. I’m looking forward to having the opportunity to possibly play in the playoffs and add as much as I can to that group and help get us in there and hopefully go on a long run.”
Prior to his days at the National Hockey League level, Kane was a Memorial Cup Champion with the WHL’s Vancouver Giants back in 2007 while he also finished as runner-up for the Jim Piggott Memorial Trophy as WHL rookie of the year in 2008. During his tenure, Kane set the Giants’ franchise record for single-season goals in 2008–09. He was also named to the WHL West First All-Star Team in 2009.
As for international play, Kane has won gold medals with Team Canada at the 2008 Ivan Hlinka Memorial Tournament and 2009 World Junior Championships. He has also taken part in the 2010, 2011, 2012 and 2014 IIHF World Juniors Championships.
The Sharks, who are second in the Pacific Division, are back in action on Saturday afternoon when they take on Alex Ovechkin and the Washington Capitals. Puck drop is scheduled for 4:00pmET while the game can be seen on NBCSCA.