Sophomore forward Evander Kane said he wanted to contribute more to the success of the Atlanta Thrashers this season, and if the first few games of the new season are any indication, Kane may just have a whale of a season.
Kane bulked up and worked hard during the summer. His extra muscularity combined with additional confidence and an aggressive approach has impressed his Kane has added five pounds to his 6-foot-2 frame, and he now weighs 195 pounds.
He spent the offseason playing for Team Canada in the World Championships in Germany, scoring four points (two goals, two assists) in Canada’s seventh-place finish. At 19 years old, Evander Kane is poised to have an exceptional season just when the Thrashers need contributions from him and other key performers to make the playoffs in what is a critical year.
Kane told Bleacher Report, “I have been able to contribute offense since I was young playing minor hockey and I want to contribute more goals for the team this season.”
“I’ve had pressure on me ever since pee-wee hockey,” Kane said. I think it makes me play better and makes you more excited for the games when you have that type of pressure on you. It just makes you a better player, you just have to channel it.”
Kane received his first NHL No. 1 star of the game award for a two-goal performance leading the Thrashers to a surprise victory against the Washington Capitals.
The encouraging thing for the Thrashers was not just the goals but also the hits, the skating and shooting displayed by the young forward against the Capitals. Kane also led the Thrashers in shots on goal.
Paired with Rich Peverley and Anthony Stewart on the third line, Kane has made Coach Craig Ramsey look like a genius so far this season.
Of course, one win does not mean the Thrashers organization can start printing playoff tickets just yet.
What it indicates is the team that only missed the playoffs by a few games has improved over last season and has achieved its goal of providing a balanced attack.
Kane had 26 points (14 goals, 12 assists) last season despite missing 15 games with a broken foot. He led the Thrashers in shots on goal entering Tuesday's game with 12. New Thrashers Dustin Byfuglien and Alexander Burmistrov also were busy pulling the trigger in the Washington game.
Kane has the drive and ability to be a standout player and is unique because he has the confidence to go with it.