Mar 26, 2013; Chicago, IL, USA; Chicago Blackhawks right wingPatrick Kane
(88) skates with the puck against the Calgary Flames during the second period at the United Center. Mandatory Credit: Rob Grabowski-USA TODAY Sports
- #3: Patrick Kane
Patrick Kane’s game took a huge turn for the better in 2013, and he now finds himself among the elite forwards league-wide. Kane’s game bleeds offensive production, and he is a huge contributor for the Chicago Blackhawks. Finding himself in a top six position, Kane fools defenders with subtle speed, great hands, and a creative mind born from hours in the rink. Kane has the ability to pick apart defenders, and guess their next move before it is even made. His scoring ability is also accompanied with a great hockey IQ, and the Buffalo, NY native can find himself in the ‘G’ and ‘A’ multiple times in the same night. His chemistry built up over 6 years of play with the Blackhawks has gifted a great playmaking ability to the winger, and his passes can be just as good as his shot.
Kane is as slippery as they come, in more than one sense. #88 is never a player to be tied up, and his quick feet and smooth hands are almost impossible for defenders to contain. He often finds himself wheeling around the offensive zone, ready to make a heads-up play. The 24-year old led the Blackhawks in points in 2013, coming in with 55 points in 47 games. Kane’s success hasn’t all come in the past season either; he has scored 20 goals or more in every one of his 6 seasons in Chicago, including 23 in the lockout-shortened 2013 campaign.
The Playoffs are Kane’s spotlight, and he cranks his game up a notch when it comes to the post-season. In 2013, Kane was 2nd in playoff scoring with 19 points in 23 games, including his second career playoff hat-trick in Game Five of the Western Conference Final. The big goal is no problem for Kane; scoring the double-OT game-winner in the aforementioned Game Five, as well as a little-known Stanley Cup-clinching OT goal in 2010. The accolades are staggering for such a young player; two Stanley Cup rings, to go along with a Conn Smythe trophy in 2013, as well as a Calder Trophy way back in 2008 as a rookie.
Kane’s game looks to continue on his upwards trend in 2013-14, as the Blackhawks go back into the season as Stanley Cup favourites. If Kane can sustain his 2013 level of play for 82 games, he might just see more awards come his way.