Atlanta Thrashers First Rounder Evander Kane Could Be a Knockout in the NHL

Warren ShawCorrespondent IIAugust 19, 2009

Just like everything else, the world of professional hockey is changing too. A few short years ago not many hockey experts would have predicted that a Canadien of African descent would emerge as a first round draft choice in 2009.

Despite the fact that there have been several extremely successful black players in the NHL before Evander Kane's arrival. 

Jarome Iginla, Grant Fuhr and Tony Mckegny just to name a few.  Kane comes out of junior hockey with anticipation and higher expectation.

Based on young Kane's performance in minor and junior hockey in Canada it comes as no surprise to his family and those who have seen him play throughout his junior hockey career that he would emerge as a first round pick.  

Named after former heavyweight champion boxer Evander Holyfield, Kane can also be described as the "real deal" by NHL scouts.

The NHL Atlanta Thrashers selected Kane fourth overall in the first round of the 2009 entry draft and speculate that he could actually make the parent squad. At 6'1 '' and 180 pounds, Kane is described as a tenacious budding power forward with a nose for the net.

In sixty one games for Vancouver in the WHL Evander scored 48 goals and 48 assists for 96 points in his last season in junior hockey before being drafted.

Video Play Button
Videos you might like

Evander is only 18 years old.  Prior to that performance he recorded 140 points in 66 games as a 14-year-old.  He also bumped, bruised and fought his way to 150 penalty minutes in tough Western Hockey League play.

Kane also became the second black (Grant Fuhr was the first) to win the Jim Piggott Memorial Trophy as the league's top rookie. He was in good company since the award has also been given to notable NHL players such as Joe Sakic, John Ogrodnick, Wade Redden, Chris Phillips and Fuhr among others.

After winning a gold medal with Team Canada in the World Junior Championship, Kane is poised to take his game to the next level.

"There is nothing like living your dream and playing in the NHL" said Kane.  

slash iconYour sports. Delivered.

Enjoy our content? Join our newsletter to get the latest in sports news delivered straight to your inbox!