Winnipeg Jets Roster Analysis: Where does Evander Kane score from?

Posted by Richard Pollock in Columns,General Jets News,Jets Columns,Roster Analysis,Winnipeg Jets on June 14, 2012 — 6 Comments

While Ondrej Pavelec is making all the news about possibly heading to the KHL next season, which by the way does nothing to hurt his marketability, the other pending restricted free agent who is foremost on Jets fans’ minds is Evander Kane.

We have already discussed the approximate value of contracts that both Kane and Pavelec will demand this summer, but let’s take a closer look at Kane’s game as a whole.

Last season, fans everywhere in town would dismiss Kane’s goal-scoring ability by saying he was too one-dimensional; that he could only score goals.  Well, first off, scoring goals is a talent that few have, so if Kane is going to have one talent, it is beneficial for the Jets to have that be goal scoring rather than hitting or blocking shots.

Another common complaint of Jets fans was that Kane’s moves with the puck quickly became predictable.  They lamented that he would seemingly only go down the left wing and either continue to skate wide or use the same toe-drag move on the defenseman.

While there is truth to the fact that Kane is limited in his offensive moves, frankly, he still scored—a lot.  Never mind the fact that Kane’s linemates this season were not exactly Ryan Getzlaf and Corey Perry (his linemates at the World Championships in the spring).

After hearing the above complaints, we thought it would be interesting to take a closer look at exactly where and how Evander Kane scored his 30 goals this season.

Before examining each goal, here is a list of the games that Kane scored, how many shots he had in that specific game and how many minutes he played in that specific contest.

Listing of Evander Kane’s Goals in 2011-12

Jets Games G A P PPG S TOI
Apr 3 ’12 WPG @ FLA 1 0 1 0 4 17:56
Mar 26 ’12 OTT @ WPG 1 1 2 0 6 20:29
Mar 14 ’12 DAL @ WPG 1 0 1 0 4 16:28
Mar 9 ’12 WPG @ CGY 1 0 1 0 6 22:07
Mar 1 ’12 FLA @ WPG* 2 2 4 0 9 15:49
Feb 23 ’12 TBL @ WPG 1 0 1 1 5 18:20
Feb 21 ’12 PHI @ WPG 1 0 1 1 5 19:33
Feb 19 ’12 COL @ WPG 1 1 2 0 5 15:31
Feb 16 ’12 WPG @ MIN 2 1 3 0 7 21:24
Feb 9 ’12 WPG @ WSH 1 0 1 1 3 20:22
Dec 29 ’11 LAK @ WPG* 1 0 1 0 5 17:57
Dec 27 ’11 WPG @ COL 2 0 2 0 5 16:38
Dec 9 ’11 CAR @ WPG 1 1 2 0 6 18:28
Dec 3 ’11 NJD @ WPG 2 0 2 0 5 17:58
Nov 29 ’11 OTT @ WPG 2 0 2 1 7 17:59
Nov 26 ’11 WPG @ BOS 1 0 1 0 9 17:11
Nov 25 ’11 WPG @ CAR 1 0 1 0 3 16:53
Nov 17 ’11 WSH @ WPG* 2 0 2 0 6 19:44
Nov 14 ’11 TBL @ WPG 1 1 2 0 2 12:35
Nov 3 ’11 WPG @ NYI* 1 1 2 0 3 16:55
Oct 31 ’11 WPG @ FLA 2 0 2 1 6 19:40
Oct 27 ’11 WPG @ PHI 1 1 2 1 3 10:50
Oct 22 ’11 CAR @ WPG 1 0 1 0 1 10:31

 

We know that Kane popped 30 goals last season at the age of 20 and that he scored more goals than any other Jet player in 2011-12. Impressive? I think so.

Consider the fact that Kane finished 25th in the NHL in goals last season and was the youngest goal-scorer ranked in the top 30.

We know the British Columbia native can score, so let’s now examine how he scores his goals.

How Evander Kane Scored in 2011-12

  Location Type of shot Type of play
Apr 3 ’12 WPG @ FLA Top of crease (left) One-time wrist shot 2-on-1
Mar 26 ’12 OTT @ WPG Top of crease (middle) Off body in front Scrum
Mar 14 ’12 DAL @ WPG Left hash marks One time wrist shot Rebound
Mar 9 ’12 WPG @ CGY Top of crease (right) One-time wrist shot Scrum
Mar 1 ’12 FLA @ WPG* Goal 1: Low middle slot
Goal 2: Low middle slot
Goal 1: Wrist shot
Goal 2: Forehand to backhand deke
Goal 1: Partial breakaway
Goal 2: Partial breakaway
Feb 23 ’12 TBL @ WPG Ringette line (right side) Wrist shot Walking off right half-boards on power play
Feb 21 ’12 PHI @ WPG Just above ringette line (right side) Wrist shot Walking off right half-boards on power play
Feb 19 ’12 COL @ WPG Top of left circle Backhand Curling off defenseman in slot
Feb 16 ’12 WPG @ MIN Goal 1: Top right of crease
Goal 2: Bottom of left circle
Goal 1: One-time wrist shot
Goal 2: Wrist shot over sprawling netminder
Goal 1: Cross-crease pass
Goal 2: Race for puck—beat netminder
Feb 9 ’12 WPG @ WSH Low middle slot Wrist shot Rebound
Dec 29 ’11 LAK @ WPG* Top left of crease Wrist shot Scrum
Dec 27 ’11 WPG @ COL Goal 1: Just over left face-off dot
Goal 2: Top right of crease
Goal 1: Wrist shot
Goal 2: One-time wrist shot
Goal 1: 2-on-1Goal 2: Cross-crease pass
Dec 9 ’11 CAR @ WPG Along boards at top of left circle Wrist shot Putting puck on net
Dec 3 ’11 NJD @ WPG Goal 1: Top right of crease
Goal 2: Neutral zone
Goal 1: Tip-in
Goal 2: Wrist shot
Goal 1: Tip-in off point shot
Goal 2: Empty net
Nov 29 ’11 OTT @ WPG Goal 1: Left side of crease
Goal 2: Right side of crease
Goal 1: Wrist show
Goal 2: Wrist shot
Goal 1: Picked up puck from behind net off odd bounce
Goal 2: Rebound
Nov 26 ’11 WPG @ BOS Right side of low slot Forehand to backhand deke 2-on-1
Nov 25 ’11 WPG @ CAR Just over left hash marks Wrist shot 2-on-1
Nov 17 ’11 WSH @ WPG* Goal 1: Bottom of right hand circle
Goal 2: Just below right face-off dot
Goal 1: Wrist shot
Goal 2: Wrist shot
Goal 1: Scrum
Goal 2: Coming off boards
Nov 14 ’11 TBL @ WPG Ringette line at top of left circle Wrist shot Cross-ice pass, walk in and shoot
Nov 3 ’11 WPG @ NYI* Top right of crease Backhand Came in on 1 -on-3
Oct 31 ’11 WPG @ FLA Goal 1: Just above left face-off dot
Goal 2: Just below the hash marks in middle slot
Goal 1: Wrist shot
Goal 2: Batted out of air
Goal 1: Puck popped over to him on PP
Goal 2: Rebound
Oct 27 ’11 WPG @ PHI Top left of crease Wrist shot Cross-crease pass
Oct 22 ’11 CAR @ WPG Just below right circle Wrist shot Pass from behind the net

 

Goal Location

Some NHL players are hesitant to go to the net.  They prefer to hang around the periphery and avoid the physical pounding that one will face when hanging right around the top of the opposing netminder’s crease.  Evander Kane, on the other hand, seems to thrive on taking such a beating and eliciting such attention.  He consistently uses his big body to crash the net and demonstrated a willingness to incur the physical attention of the other team’s big, strong and mean defensemen.

Just where were Kane’s goals scored from last season (not counting his empty net goal from the neutral zone):

 

While Kane is a left winger, he does not score all of his goals from that side of the ice.  Kane often moves to his off-wing in the offensive zone, especially around the net, where he ably one-timed shots into the back of the opposing team’s net. 

 

The above data indicates a couple things.  Kane is certainly not shy about going to the dirty areas.  He scored many goals from just above the crease/bottom of the circles.

It also indicates that he has a terrific shot.  Kane scored nine goals from above the hash marks.  A player like Kyle Wellwood is not going to snipe a ton of goals from above the hash marks, but Kane’s shot gives him the ability to beat net minders from afar.

Type of Shot

It doesn’t take a rocket scientist to realize that Evander Kane has a terrific wrist shot.  It is not only a lethal, powerful shot, but also his release is so quick and he has the ability few players have to shoot while skating full speed.   Kane probably has a top-five NHL wrist shot and it is no surprise that 23 of his 30 goals in 2011-12 were scored, in some form, utilizing that very shot.

As you can tell below, Kane is not apt to score with slap shots—and if you watched the Jets play, you know he hardly attempted a slap shot all season long.  That is not necessarily a bad thing; some players are just like that.

 

Type of Play

The type of plays that Evander Kane scored on this past season contained a variety of different methods.  Many of them were based upon his blazing speed, terrific wrist shot and willingness to go to the net.

His speed creates 2-on-1 opportunities.  His willingness to attack the net results in goals that are the product of rebounds, scrums, tip-ins and cross-crease passes.  His terrific shot also allows him to score off the half boards.

 

All in all, people may complain about how Evander Kane plays the game—but he does one thing better than any other Jet—he scores.  In fact, he scores a lot and does so in a variety of different fashions that should lend well to scoring in the future.

The Jets have a few problems on the roster, Kane’s “predictability,” however, is quite far down that list.

  • http://twitter.com/TBonnar Timothy Bonnar

    “if Kane is going to have one talent, it is beneficial for the Jets to have that be goal scoring rather than hitting or blocking shots”
    Agree. 100%. If you are accumulating big numbers of hits and blocked shots, it is generally because you don’t have the puck. Getting between the shooter and your goalie is great, but I would much rather have our Jets at the other end of the ice where they can score goals. 

    Dating back to 1990, the only players that have scored 30 goals at 20 years of age or younger are:

    Ovechkin, Stamkos, Geoff Sanderson, Lindros, Owen Nolan, Kovalchuk, Rick Nash, Pavel Bure, Jagr, Toews, Crosby, Malkin, Trevor Linden, Jason Arnott, Mats Sundin, Ryan Smyth, Kopitar, Skinner, Gaborik, Eric Daze, Patrice Bergeron and Yashin

    That is pretty impressive company if you ask me. 

    Great piece Richie!

  • http://twitter.com/ICrichyp Richard Pollock

    Tim,

    Great information there with the list of scorers.  Quite a talented list.  People forget how hard it is to score at the NHL level at such a young age.

    Thanks for reading.

    Rich

  • http://twitter.com/TBonnar Timothy Bonnar

    It is very difficult for young players to score at these kind of rates. Kane is legitimately one of the best young players in the league and any team would love to have him. The criticism he receives is nutty IMO.

    The full list of 30 goal twenty year olds is here if anybody wants to take a look:
    http://www.hockey-reference.com/play-index/psl_finder.cgi?request=1&match=single&year_min=1991&year_max=2012&season_start=1&season_end=-1&age_min=18&age_max=20&birth_country=&franch_id=&is_active=&is_hof=&pos=S&handed=&c1stat=goals&c1comp=gt&c1val=30&c2stat=&c2comp=gt&c2val=&c3stat=&c3comp=gt&c3val=&c4stat=&c4comp=gt&c4val=&order_by=goals 

  • http://twitter.com/Dan_Lipson Daniel Lipson

    That’s weird…Nobody seems to be complaining about Tanner Glass’ limited offensive arsenal.

  • Dale Nesbitt

    The numbers in this case lie.  He *scores* from all directions up close to the net.  However, his 1-on-1 moves are extremely predictable and rarely lead to a goal.  This is what he needs to work on.

  • http://twitter.com/ICrichyp Richard Pollock

    That was noted in the article.