Evander Kane's blend of speed and size is terrifying for opponents, but his inability to stay healthy as well as off-ice issues have prevented him from reaching his full potential. He's managed to play a full season just once in his career, and in two seasons with Buffalo, Kane has missed 27 games. When healthy, the 26-year-old is a high-volume shooter who can easily score 30 goals while dishing out hits on a consistent basis. There are very few players in the league who can do what Kane does, and the Sabres' lack of depth on the left wing assures him a top-six role, either with Ryan O'Reilly or Jack Eichel. Though his future in Buffalo remains uncertain due to rumors of a potential trade, Kane will be a fantasy factor wherever he plays.
Buffalo is still looking for a suitable trade partner for Kane, Darren Dreger of TSN reports. Kane is entering the final year of his contract and is coming off a solid season in which he tallied 43 points, 113 PIM and 260 shots on goal. The tough winger also dished out 109 hits, but his minus-17 rating left much to be desired. While concerns about losing the 25-year-old for nothing at the end of the year are likely the primary motivation for shopping him, Kane's off-ice issues can't be overlooked as the Sabres fully embrace the Jack Eichel era in Buffalo.
Vegas will not be able to acquire Kane via the expansion draft after being protected by the Sabres. Protecting Kane was a no-brainer, even if he may not stay in Buffalo for much longer. He's coming off one of the best seasons of his career, but his time in Buffalo has been mired by off-ice issues and various injuries. When healthy, Kane is a bruising power forward with the ability to score 30-40 goals, but at times it feels as though he's not worth the constant headaches. His name has been a fixture in the rumor mill and the Sabres know he has a lot of trade value, so they won't risk losing him to Vegas for nothing. Wherever Kane lands, he will almost assuredly play a top-six role. He has one more year remaining on his contract before becoming an unrestricted free agent.
Kane is the subject of trade rumors yet again this summer, Mike Harrington of The Buffalo News reports. With one year left on a contract that carries a $5.25 million cap hit, the Kings and the Canucks are both reportedly interested in the Sabres' 2016-17 goal leader. If they were to trade Kane, the most plausible return seems to be a high-end defenseman, since they'd be getting rid of their top scorer on a team that struggled with offensive production last season.
Kane will not face charges for an incident outside a Buffalo bar in June of 2016, The Buffalo News reports. The dismissal of the charges against Kane was the result of a plea deal in October that was contingent on the 25-year-old staying out of trouble, which he has. Kane can now focus on getting ready for the 2017-18 season as the Sabres overhaul their organization from top to bottom.
Kane led all Sabres with 28 goals -- his highest total in five seasons -- although he added just 15 assists in 70 games. Despite yet another injury-shortened season, Kane had one of the most productive seasons of his career, finishing with 260 shots on goal, eight power-play points, 109 hits and 113 PIM. When he plays, he's a absolute force on the ice with his size and skill, but injuries, inconsistency and off-ice issues have certainly tarnished his image and impeded his development. The good news is that Kane is entering his prime, and there'll be plenty of incentive for him in 2017-18, the final year of his six-year contract. A 30-goal season isn't out of the question for Kane, which makes him a very valuable fantasy asset alongside his peripheral stats.
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