When you think of some of the best players in the NHL today you immediately think about Sidney Crosby, Steven Stamkos, Evgeni Malkin and Pavel Datsyuk but it's rare that people think of Patrick Kane as one of the best players in the game. Maybe there are better all around players than Kane, but there are few players that have the ability to score goals the way Kane does. He leaves goalies scratching their heads and fans in awe of his jaw-dropping moves, as he proved in the Blackhawks shootout win against the Red Wings, when you need a goal late in a game you want Kane on the ice. Which begs the question is Patrick Kane the best goal scorer in the NHL right now?
After being drafted 1st overall in the 2007 draft Patrick Kane has a had a roller coster kind of career. He won the cup in 2010, was a member of the silver medal American team at the 2010 Olympics and won the Calder trophy in 2008 after putting up 72 points. Everything on the ice was going great until the 2011-2012 season which saw him score a career low 23 goals and he failed to score a single goal in the Blackhawks first round playoff match with the Canucks. That offseason some embarrassing photo's of the Blackhawks winger went viral and with controversy both on and off the ice trade rumours started to swirl around the young star.
But after starting the lockout shortened season in the Swiss Elite league Patrick Kane is on pace for his best season in the NHL. While playing in the Swiss league alongside Tyler Seguin, Kane was one of the most exciting and electrifying players to watch, he made everything look so easy and effortless on his way to putting up 23 points in 20 games. Coming back with the Blackhawks and captain Jonathan Toews, Kane hasn't lost a step at all putting up 26 points in 22 games, helping the Blackhawks to a 19-0-3 record. Not only has Kane been able to score timely goals, he's also been one of the most consistent players recording at least a point in 18 of the Blackhawks 22 games. If this was a full NHL season and Kane was able to keep up the pace he's at right now he would hit the 100 point plateau.
What you have with Patrick Kane goes beyond the score-sheet. The 24 year-old winger possess so much skill and talent you at times wonder if he's human. He has a unique mixture of elite speed, goal scoring ability, phenomenal vision and arguably the best play-making ability, which make him one of the most elite players in the NHL. Kane is able to do things with the puck that most can't even dream about, he's so skilled the ice is like his canvas and he's painting his master piece. He came into the 2013 season as a more focused player, like he had something to prove and isn't going to quit until he accomplishes his goal.
One thing that often goes un-noticed with Patrick Kane is his passion for the game. Of all the things you can criticize Kane for, passion to win is something you can't. You can see his passion by simply looking at his eyes, so focused, wanting to be the game changer and wanting to be the best player on the ice. His passion is what drives his creativity, his quick hands that leave both defenceman and goalies lost as he skates or buries the puck past them. His passion for the game that drives him to want to be the best player on the ice and the best that he can be and that's what separates him from some of the other elite players in the league. Another unique thing about Kane is the fact he has fun when playing. The smile he gets after he scores a goal, he's just a happy guy who's playing the game he loves for a living.
Patrick Kane is arguably the best American-born player in the NHL today and looking ahead to Sochi 2014 he will be the best player for the Americans. Right now this 2013 season you're seeing a player who is determined to become the best he can be, he wants to lead the Blackhawks to several championships and he has all the skill and ability to become the best forward in the NHL.
So what do you think is Patrick Kane the best goal scorer in the NHL?