With his assist on the Blackhawks’ goal in Columbus, Patrick Kane reached 400 points in his young career.
He has been a superstar worthy of a number one overall pick, and it’s worth taking a moment to appreciate his career so far.
When you talk about number one overall draft picks, the hype and hope that follows that distinction is undeniable. Obviously an overtime, Cup-clinching goal is good evidence that he has “lived-up” to that billing.
But looking at his performance relative to his draft classmates, Kane’s career gains perspective.
The Blackhawks made Kane the top overall pick in what has turned out to be a good, deep 2007 Draft. There were some legitimate stars in that class, including James vanRiemsdyk, Sam Gagner, Logan Couture, David Perron, Wayne Simmonds and Jamie Benn.
But consider how those young players have performed in their respective NHL careers to date.
Kane blows away a really good group; he has more assists than any other player in that draft has points to date.
Obviously most of those players haven’t been given the same opportunity that Kane has to play every night in the NHL since the day they were drafted. So let’s carry the comparison one season further back to the Class of 2006. Obviously the Hawks hit a home run in that draft, selecting Jonathan Toews third overall.
Once again, Kane stands out.
Only Backstom compares to kane from a point-per-game perspective, but no player from 2006 has reached 400 points in their career yet.
In fact, only two players from the 2005 Draft – Sidney Crosby and Anze Kopitar – have reached the 400 point plateau in their careers.
The experiment at center didn’t work out well, and his wrist injury didn’t help him at all last year. And his off-ice antics have led some to speculate that the organization should consider him expendable.
But with this benchmark achieved, it should be clear that Kane is a rare, elite talent the Blackhawks are lucky to have on their roster.