Evander Kane is already a household name, but is he ready to take the next step to superstardom in 2013-14?
Kane is very likely owned in your keeper league already (and if he isn't, it may be time to find a new league to join). But in one-year leagues, many poolies will still approach the draft table with him valued as a 50-55 point player. There are a few reasons to expect (significantly) more from him in 2013-14. Let's take a closer look at them, shall we?
Reason #1 - Mark Scheifele
The Jets made the right move in sending Scheifele back to the OHL for the 2013 season. He may have been ready for the NHL in some areas, but in the long run it usually makes sense to allow prospects more time to develop against their peers.
Scheifele’s potential is very, very high. He’s big, strong, a good skater, and extremely talented with the puck. He had 39 goals in 45 games for Barrie last year, and added another 15 goals and 41 points in 21 postseason games. It is a matter of “when” and not “if” he becomes a dominant NHL center.
Kane spent most of his shifts last season centered by Olli Jokinen. At this stage of his career, Jokinen is a decent player, but not one who is going to significantly add value to or pad the stats of his wingers.
|16.62%||EV||12 JOKINEN,OLLI - 9 KANE,EVANDER - 20 MIETTINEN,ANTTI|
|12.56%||EV||12 JOKINEN,OLLI - 9 KANE,EVANDER - 26 WHEELER,BLAKE|
|10.6%||EV||80 ANTROPOV,NIKOLAI - 8 BURMISTROV,ALEXANDER - 9 KANE,EVANDER|
|9.92%||EV||12 JOKINEN,OLLI - 9 KANE,EVANDER - 13 WELLWOOD,KYLE|
|4.36%||EV||8 BURMISTROV,ALEXANDER - 12 JOKINEN,OLLI - 9 KANE,EVANDER|
In fact, Kane didn’t see any time with Winnipeg’s big guns (Ladd-Little-Wheeler). At some point I would like to see him and Wheeler together – a sniper and a playmaker – perhaps centered by Scheifele?
Expect the Jets to give Scheifele every opportunity to play on the second line this season, bumping Jokinen down to a more appropriate role.
Reason #2 - Improving team
Ondrej Pavelec aside (still not sold on him), the Jets are a team on the rise. They have a very good young nucleus of talent at both forward and defense, and as those players continue to improve and develop together, their collective fantasy value(s) will increase as well. Kane is a player who can drive possession on his own, but many times last year he was a man on an island and forced to create offense out of nothing. As a winger, that isn't an easy thing to do on a routine basis in the NHL.
At this point, Kane's most realistic linemates for the coming season will be some combinaton of Scheifele/Jokinen/Setoguchi. Andrew Ladd will be in tough to repeat his career season, and it is only a matter of time until Kane passes him on the depth chart (if he hasn't already).
Reason #3 - Natural progression
Kane was a high draft pick and a highly-touted prospect for a reason - he's really good at hockey. He has led the Jets in shots per 60 minutes of even strength ice time in each of the past two seasons, and he led the Jets in points per 60 minutes of even strength ice time in 2011-12 too. His per 60 minutes production decreased in 2013 as his overall ice time shot up from 17:31 per game to 20:27 per game.
He scored 30 goals and finished with 57 points in 2011-12. Even if Scheifele doesn`t make a smooth transition to the NHL game, expect Kane to shatter both of those numbers in 2013-14. He is going to either create a dominant scoring line with whoever the Jets pair with him, or he is going to bump Ladd from the top line with Wheeler and Little.
The beauty of an online (PDF) release, and what separates us from the competition, is that we are able to update the DobberHockey Guide throughout the rest of the summer and right up to puck drop in early October.
Other guides released in magazine format have to be written and submitted for publishing in late June with quick updates on free agency in early July.
As we all know, a lot can still happen in August and September. How about a strong training camp from a bubble player or a rookie? How about a late summer trade or signing?
The fantasy impact(s) of these moves can be significant, and we will have you covered.
Support the website and win your pool. I’d call that a win-win.