Evander Kane was in a wildly different place just nine months ago.
At the beginning of the 2022 calendar year, Kane was placed on unconditional waivers and his contract was about to be terminated for violating Covid protocol. By the end of January, he was a member of the Oilers on a deal for the remainder of the season.
Kane’s talent is undeniable: he’s a bona-fide top six left wing, something the Oilers definitely needed at the time. He was a six time 20 goal scorer prior to signing with the Oilers (he’s a seven time 20 goal scorer now), he reached 30 in 2018-19 while still a member of San Jose. Kane has a blend of physicality to go along with being a goal scorer, two things that are always in style.
Since joining the Oilers midway through 2021-22, he’s done well for himself. In 43 games, he put up 22 goals, which looks pretty close to 40 over the course of an entire season. He’d score 13 goals in Edmonton’s playoff run, which would lead the team. Kane’s half-season with the Oilers was so successful, I thought he played himself into a seven year deal somewhere out east. With Edmonton’s cap situation being questionable at best, I didn’t see how the Oilers could fit Kane into a multi-year deal if they went that route. The Oilers and Kane agreed to a four year deal valued at just over 5 million per season, a reasonable contract should Kane’s production remain at the level it did for half a season.
It would be irresponsible to talk about how good a player Kane is without at least mentioning that a four year deal for a player that’s had his name in the headlines for alleged domestic incidents, skipping practice, and getting sued for half a million dollars in gambling debts from the Cosmopolitan might be a tad risky. Kane asked Oilers fans to keep an open mind when he signed in January, and it’s been strictly business so far.
RIGHT BACK HERE WHERE WE STARTED FROM
For the Oilers, they’re hoping Kane can keep the goals up in 2022-23 just like he did in 2021-22. For Kane, 2021-22 was full of goals: 22 of them in the regular season. He’d enjoy some big success on a top line with Connor McDavid and Kailer Yamamoto. Kane did have a career high in shooting percentage (14.5), and his defensive metrics weren’t great. If Kane shoots his career average (9.9) while on the top line, he’s a good candidate to get near 30 goals over the course of an 82 game season.
KANE, OR HYMAN?
Who’s going to play where? I think the Oilers really, really like Evander Kane playing with Connor McDavid heading into 2022-23. With only 43 regular season games (and a few more than a dozen playoff games), his time in Edmonton is limited to half a season, but the Oilers hope Kane is able to pick up right where he left off. Kane takes a lot of shots in high danger areas, and he was able to cash in on those chances nearly 15% of the time last year.
GOALS ARE IN
I think Kane plays on the top line with Connor McDavid and one of Kailer Yamamoto or Jesse Puljujärvi for the majority of the year at 5 on 5. I think he’s going to do well on that line, and I think his shooting percentage will be a little bit over his career average of 9.9%. Kane averaged just a few seconds more per game on the power play than his teammate Zach Hyman, and I think that trend will continue in 2022-23.
I’ll put Kane’s shooting successes halfway between his career average and what he finished with in 2021-22. If Kane plays 82 games, I’ll put him down for 34 goals and 26 points, good for 60 total points in 2022-23.
Assume 82 games played. How many points will Evander Kane score in 2022-23?
This poll is closed
40 or less
62 or greater