Battling ferociously for a playoff spot, San Jose has made a significant move that it hopes will help the club navigate through the Pacific Division’s gridlock.
The Sharks completed a deal with the Buffalo Sabres to acquire Evander Kane, the best pure goal-scorer available at the deadline. Kane and his 20 goals are heading to the Bay Area in exchange for a couple of picks, along with prospect Dan O’Reagan, who played alongside Jack Eichel and Evan Rodrigues at Boston University.
More details on Evander Kane trade, Sabres get 2019 conditional first-round pick, Dan O'Reagan and a 2020 4th Rd pick
— Pierre LeBrun (@PierreVLeBrun) February 26, 2018
Conditions on the draft pick, the centrepiece of Buffalo’s haul, stipulate that if the Sharks re-sign Kane, the Sabres will get the Sharks’ first-rounder in 2018. If Kane doesn’t re-up in San Jose and ends up departing in free agency, that pick heading to Buffalo becomes a second-rounder.
Kane brings 20 goals and 40 points this season over to the Sharks, who will need all the scoring they can get down the stretch as the team sits second in the Pacific Division — just one point up on Anaheim and two up on Calgary which currently sits in a wild card spot.
The big, tough winger is built for playoff hockey and aside from possessing a natural goal scoring touch and a heavy, accurate shot, Kane’s physicality and ability to win battles along the boards will be something the Sharks will rely on heavily heading into the postseason.
A big question mark has been Kane’s maturity level and whether or not he can fit into a winning dressing room, but with guys like Joe Pavelski, Joe Thornton and Brent Burns at the helm in San Jose — and Kane playing for a contract beyond this season — it’s a pretty safe bet that any off-ice antics will be quashed in a hurry.
Over the past three seasons, Kane has 118 points including 68 goals while averaging 19:52 TOI in 196 games with Buffalo.
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