Scouting Report: Evander Kane and Zach Bogosian
We asked Winnipeg Jets writer Tim Bonner to share some thoughts on the two newest Sabres.
Despite the controversy and complaints about his dip in production, Evander Kane remains a rock solid hockey player with a load of upside. Kane is tough as nails. He is great on the forecheck and he hits anything that moves. He is also a top notch offensive contributor. Over his time with the Jets, Kane has been one of the most productive even strength players in the league. He has also developed into a great penalty killer. Injuries have hampered his play some over the last couple season and this left fans frustrated, but even this year he was the Jets' 5th most productive per minute scorer at the time of his injury.
Kane drives play. A huge factor in puck possession is zone exits and zone entries. Kane excels here and he has proven capable of carrying pretty much anybody he plays with (rookies, scrubs, even Olli Jokinen) into plus possession territory - meanwhile pacing for 50+ points of his own. It is hard to say where his ultimate offensive ceiling sits, but there is some untapped potential there and he holds big value regardless.
Bogosian has spent most of this season playing on the Winnipeg Jets top defensive pair along side Tobias Enstrom. Bogo has played well for the most part. He is an all minutes player and he plays with a nasty physical edge. He is also incredibly strong and a great skater. He was arguably the Jets second best athlete behind Evander Kane.
Sounds great right? Yup, but it isn't all roses. Zach Bogosian also tends to get lost in the defensive zone at times. They analytics have never liked him and he hasn't proven capable of carrying a defensive pair. In the short term he will likely fill the hole created by the loss of Tyler Myers and he may even be a bit of an upgrade. In the long term, Bogo is probably going to play second fiddle to a steadier partner on a first or second defensive pair. He will also smash a crap ton of opponents. Hope for your guys sake that he can stay healthy.
Our thanks to Tim for his thoughts, check out Arctic Ice Hockey to chat with Winnipeg fans about Stafford and Myers' debut.