Chicago Blackhawks’ Patrick Kane proving he’s still able

Patrick Kane’s no spring chicken when it comes to playing hockey as the 32-year-old veteran forward was originally drafted first overall by the Chicago Blackhawks in 2007. The native of Buffalo, New York tallied his 400th career regular-season goal in early March at home against the Detroit Red Wings in a 7-2 triumph. The goal meant he became the ninth American-born player to reach the plateau and the 100th overall.

Kane is enjoying one of his finest seasons as he had racked up 11 goals and 27 assists after 26 games for 38 points. That ranked him second in league scoring behind Connor McDavid’s 43 points and second to McDavid’s 38 assists. Kane also had an impressive plus-8 rating. He’s now in his 14th season with the team and will reach the 1,000 regular-season game mark the next time he steps on the ice.

After 999 outings he had posted 400 goals and 660 assists for 1,060 points with a plus-77 rating. This included 63 game-winners and 110 power-play markers. Incredibly though, he has yet to score a shorthanded goal. When he does reach his 1,000th  game he’ll become the first player drafted in 2007 to do so.

When it comes to the playoffs, Kane has helped Chicago win three Stanley Cups in 2009-10, 2012-13 and 2014-15. He’s chipped in with 52 goals and 80 assists for 132 points in 126 postseason contests and has five overtime winners and a team-record 11 game-winners overall. His most famous came against the Philadelphia Flyers in 2009/10 when his goal at 4:06 of overtime in game six gave Chicago the Stanley Cup for the first time in 49 years.

That goal also saw Kane become the youngest NHL player to score a Stanley-Cup-winning overtime marker. He also won the 2012/13 Conn Smythe Trophy as the playoff MVP when he captured his second Stanley Cup. He then assisted on the game winner for his third championship in 2014-15.

His fast start to the current season is his best since 2015-16 when he posted 35 points in 23 games. He went on to capture the Hart Trophy as the league’s most valuable player, the Ted Lindsay Award for being the best player as voted by his peers, the Art Ross Trophy for leading the league in scoring and was named to the First All-Star Team.

The 5-foot-10-inch Kane’s play has given the Hawks a realistic chance of making the playoffs even though they’re playing with eight rookies including goaltender Kevin Lankinen. The team is also playing without its top-two centres in Jonathan Toews and Kirby Dach. Kane has more or less carried the team on his back lately and might need to keep it up though if they’re going to lock up a playoff spot. He hasn’t exactly been a one-man team this season but he’s been close to it. If the team does make the postseason, Kane should certainly get some consideration for the Hart Trophy once again.

His NHL career definitely started out on the right foot as Kane won the rookie of the year award for 2007/08 when he netted 21 goals and 51 assists and made the All-Rookie Team. His 2015/16 campaign saw him become the first American-born player to win hoist the Hart Trophy and the first to lead the league in scoring when he posted 46 goals and 60 helpers. He also recorded a 26-game scoring streak that season which was the longest since 1992/93. This consisted of 16 goals and 24 assists to snap the previous club record of 21 games which was by Bobby Hull two decades earlier.

The Blackhawks didn’t really take much of a gamble when drafting taking Kane first overall as he was the Canadian Hockey League’s leading scorer and rookie of the year in 2006/07 with 62 goals and 145 points 58 outings with the London Knights of the Ontario Hockey League. He’s lived up to his potential in the NHL and international competition with numerous individual and team honours and nobody should be surprised if he adds some more silverware to the trophy cabinet before he hangs up his skates.

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