Geek of the Week: Evander Kane

by Scott Maran on October 16, 2016

 

In this edition, The Geek of the Week looks at Evander Kane …

 

Over the past few years, the Buffalo Sabres have grown very willing to make big moves. Whether it’s bringing in Ryan O’Reilly, Robin Lehner, or signing Kyle Okposo, the Sabres aren’t afraid to make a big splash and be in the spotlight. However, lost in the shuffle seems to be the once promising power-forward Evander Kane, who is almost an afterthought nowadays. But even though the public isn’t as high on him as they used to, don’t overlook the sneaky good value he can provide on draft day this season.

Selected fourth overall in the 2009 NHL Draft, Evander Kane entered the NHL as a young 18-year-old packed with potential. Even though he only tallied 26 points in 66 games in his rookie season, Kane began to improve as he was given more responsibility, scoring 43 points in 73 games in his sophomore campaign. But it was in his third year when Kane seemed to unleash his true potential, reaching the 30-goal mark in only 74 games. The following year saw him take a step back, only recording 33 points in 48 games (a 56-point pace), but the expectations were set. It was 30-goal scorer or bust for Kane and anything less would be considered a disappointment.

Over the next two years in Winnipeg, Kane had trouble staying in the lineup and was forced to miss 64 out of a possible 164 games, scoring only a combined 63 points in the games he did play in. But what also was concerning was the growing disconnect between Kane and the Jets, with Kane’s level of maturity being called into question after facing a few serious allegations. With his stock dropping by the minute and his relationship with the team all but toxic, the Jets decided to trade the young winger to the Buffalo Sabres.

Acquired along with Zach Bogosian for Tyler Myers, Drew Stafford, a first-round pick and two prospects, Kane was expected to become a key player in Buffalo. Blessed with a new start and a fresh team filled with other talented youngsters, poolies envisioned quite the comeback season. However, Kane greatly disappointed and failed to live up to expectations, only recording 35 points in 65 games. Now entering his eighth NHL season, Kane’s value seems to be at the lowest it has ever been. However, though his perceived value is at an all-time low, Kane can still help contribute to your fantasy hockey team.

 

 

FHG Rank

Yahoo! Rank

Fantrax ADP

GP

G

A

PPP

SOG

HITS

Dion Phaneuf

70

155

145

73

5

29

14

142

189

Seth Jones

71

128

128

80

6

38

18

134

100

Evander Kane

72

164

152

66

22

24

12

290

180

Auston Matthews

73

117

92

80

30

32

19

250

80

Alex Pietrangelo

74

115

103

78

7

38

18

172

55

 

Evander Kane was once a very promising prospect but now he is not even being drafted in the top 150 in either Yahoo or Fantrax despite providing around the 70th most value (using Dobber’s projections in Fantasy Hockey Geek in an average 12-team H2H Yahoo league measuring G, A, PPP, SOG, Hits, W, SV%, GAA, and SO). And that’s even without Kane playing the entire year; Dobber’s projections only have Kane skating in 66 games this season. If Kane were to play in around 80 games and score at a similar same pace, he would get a huge boost!

 

 

FHG Rank

Yahoo! Rank

Fantrax ADP

GP

G

A

PPP

SOG

HITS

Evander Kane

72

164

152

66

22

24

12

290

180

What If- Evander Kane

12

164

152

82

27

30

15

360

224

 

You know where Kane is ranked if he played 82 games? 12th in the entire league out of all skaters. Coming in at 30 assists and just under 30 goals, if Kane could reach those projections he could quickly become one of the biggest steals of the draft. His projected point totals are nice but it’s when they are supplemented with his kind of production in the other categories like shots on goal and hits where Kane becomes truly valuable. Projected to surpass the 350-shot mark if he plays all 82 games, Kane will be only one of two players to do so and just the third player to break the 300 mark. Not to mention, his 224 hits would place him in the top-15 in the league for most hits.

The best part is that this league isn’t even the most optimal setup for Kane. In a league with the same setup as before but with penalty minutes used in place of powerplay points, Kane actually has the 16th most value in the league out of all skaters. And that’s only if he plays in 66 games!

 

 

FHG Rank

Yahoo! Rank

Fantrax ADP

GP

G

A

PIM

SOG

HITS

Sidney Crosby

14

 

 

78

35

53

44

259

62

Evander Kane

16

164

152

66

22

24

87

290

180

Jake Muzin

17

 

 

78

9

33

60

216

173

 

Just below Sidney Crosby in terms of value, Kane doesn’t even have to dress in all 82 games this season to have top-20 value in this format. Out of all the categories from our first hypothetical league, the only category where Kane underperformed was powerplay points. In a league where powerplay points aren’t accounted for and in their place penalty minutes are, Kane has even more value. And that’s not even with him playing all 82 games. Using the What If tool from Fantasy Hockey Geek, if Kane played in all 82 games this year (like the what if from before), Kane would have the second most value out of all skaters. That’s right, second, over names like Brent Burns and Jamie Benn.

Throughout his career, Kane has always been a bit of a risky pick. His injury risk and recent dip in production do make a cause for concern but his ceiling is still tremendously high. And at such a low acquisition value, drafting Kane could yield some serious rewards. Even though he won’t play in 82 games this year, he should still provide plenty of value and outperform his draft position. If he’s available late in your draft, make sure you take a shot on him.  Heck, if an existing owner is frustrated with this latest injury, it might be an optimal opportunity to go swoop him up on the cheap on the basis that he’ll still get into 66 games as projected.

 

To identify more players with great value in your specific league settings, check out Fantasy Hockey Geek to generate custom rankings tailored for you.  Even better, use the Draft Guru tool (included with the Draft Kit) to get advice on the best players available after each and every pick to absolutely dominate your draft.   Head to the Dobber Sports Shop and pick it up today!