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Sabres Top 20 Talents in 2016: No. 6 LW Evander Kane

Sabres Top 20 Talents in 2016: No. 6 LW Evander Kane
Posted at 4:24 PM, Oct 11, 2016
and last updated 2016-10-11 16:24:46-04

The Buffalo Sabres home opener is just days away. Heading into this year it’s playoffs or bust for most fans, but is the roster talented enough for the Sabres to end its five year playoff drought?

As the regular season draws near, 7ABC will take a closer look at the training camp roster and put together our list of the “Top 20 Talents.”

Here’s the criteria on how the rankings will be established:

-Overall skill level

-Past performance

-Age, improving/declining ability

-Potential

On to the countdown:

No. 6 LW Evander Kane

Why he’s here

When Kane got to Buffalo there were lofty expectations, and early in his first season, he met them.
At times, the winger left us asking "how could a team trade this guy?"

Then, the troubles off the ice started piling up, and things made a little more sense. Regardless, in his first season with the Sabres, Kane finished with 20 goals and 15 assists in 65 games.

 

2016 Outlook

 

Evander Kane loves to shoot the puck. We learned that last season and we're going to see the same this year, but hopefully they'll be 'better' shots. I'm a firm believer that throwing the puck to the net generates scoring chances -- but sometimes it does seem like Kane is wasting his shots. Think about all the times we saw Kane shoot from the side of the net or just inside the blue line. While getting the puck to the blue paint is important—It is also important to remember that Kane will likely start the year on a line with Jack Eichel and Sam Reinhart, at least that's what Reinhart hinted on Tuesday.

During the preseason, this line showed some nice chemistry in the time they played together. Last year, as mentioned earlier, Kane only registered 15 assists. He'll need to spread the love more this season playing with such talented players. 

Moral of the story – Kane needs to keep shooting, that’s what makes him such a talent but when he doesn’t have a good angle, he needs to look for his super talented line mates.

My prediction

Evander Kane is a talented player but his first year with the Sabres didn’t go according to plan. Assuming he has a more under the radar season, I have lofty expectations for Kane. I don’t know if he’ll be the 30-goal-scorer Sabres fans were hoping he would be – But there’s no reason to think he can’t flirt with that number and score 25 goals consistently. 

2016 Projection

75 GP
24 G, 25A, 49 points. 

No. 20 – D Casey Nelson

No. 19 – D Josh Gorges

No. 18 – LW Marcus Foligno

No. 17 – G Robin Lehner

No. 16 – C Johan Larsson

No. 15 - D Brendan Guhle

No. 14 - C Zemgus Girgensons 

No. 13 - RW Hudson Fasching

No. 12.- RW Justin Bailey

No. 11 - D Zach Bogosian

No. 10 LW Alex Nylander

No. 9 D Dmitry Kulikov

No. 8 D Jake McCabe

No. 7 Tyler Ennis

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