There has been a lot of talk about the Jets not having a superstar or a go to guy. They need to win by scoring as a committee. While I’m not gonna say that won’t help wins Jets fans are currently being treated to the birth of a superstar. Evander Kane has arrived and has steadily progressed in his first few seasons in the league.
Anyone that watched todays game versus the New Jersey Devils can see that the Jets are also capable of winning thanks to the play of a star player. Kane was all over the ice, showing no fear driving the net and had several great scoring chances and while not getting a point on Stuart’s game winner was originally credited with it as he drove the net hard and caused the Devils to knock it in their own net.
In his first year he dressed for 66 games had 14 goals, 12 assists for 26 points, +2 while adding 62 penalty minutes. Last year he got into 73 games, 19 goals, 23 assists and 42 points, -12 with 68 minutes. Thru the first 26 games this year Kane has played in all but one, has 14 goals, 7 assists and 21 points, he’s a +5 with 23 minutes of penalties.
That puts him on pace to 78 games, score 43 goals with 21 assists for 64 points and putting up those numbers you’d expect him to remain a plus player so factoring in him being on the ice for the same amount of goals as he has to this point in the season he’s on pace to finish with +15 rating and 71 penalty minutes.
Not only would that be a career year for the year pro but it would a break out season similar to the one we witnessed with Tampa Bay Lightning star Steven Stamkos when from a 23 goal, 23 assist, 46 point rookie season to a 51 goal, 44 assist, 95 point sophomore year. While Stamkos’ point total is obviously higher the rate of growth is quite similar when it comes to putting the puck in the net.
Stamkos had a growth rate of 2.21 % for his goals. While if Kane finishes with the projected numbers he’s on pace for he’ll have had a growth rate of 2.26%. Considering the fact that Kane had 23 assists last year it would not be far-fetched to assume his rate of assists per game will start to increase which could easily vault him into the 70+ point range. Only 24 players exceeded 70 points last year while 30 achieved the mark two seasons ago.
Either way you look at it if Kane can continue playing the way he has been and stay healthy he will not just put up career highs but he will crack the top 30 point scorers in the NHL this year. I said at the start of the year that a +30 goal season was not out the question for him and so far he’s proving me a prophet. Time will tell if I’m correct or not but I do feel safe in saying that Evander Kane has arrived and he is “The Real Deal”. Perhaps his parents were prophets as Kane was actually named after the former boxing great Evander “The Real Deal” Hollyfield.
Some other quick hits:
- If you want to show your faith in Kane, head over to Offside Gear before it’s too late to get your Portage & Kane shirt.
- The Jets are now 5-1-0 during their last six home games. Not only are they making the MTS Centre a tough place to play but they are using it to climb the standings. They now have 26 points and sit only 1 point behind Washington, Buffalo, Ottawa and Montreal who are tied for 7th thru 10th. So far they are doing exactly what we said they needed to do over that 21 game stretch.
- Realignment is supposed to be decided by Tuesday night, Marshall talked about the two options being discussed.
- It was nice to see Shane Doan get some respect when the Coyotes were in town. Despite being booed all night the fans cheered for him briefly when he was shown in his Jets jersey. Thanks for being classy Winnipeg.
- The IceCaps continue to be among the top of the standings in the AHL and have a league low 4 regulation losses. After a shoot out and a regulation loss to Toronto the Caps stormed back with a 4-0 win over Hamilton despite losing Klingberg because the Jets recalled him.
- If you haven’t done it yet, make sure to get your 30 votes in for the selected Jets to represent us at the All-Star game in Ottawa.