Welcome back for the eighth installment of my series on the top NHL fantasy hockey players of 2019/20, where I dive deep into how they performed this year and try to project what their 2020/21 season might look like. You can go back and read my previous article on Nikita Kucherov here. Let’s get the basics out of the way:
Unofficial Attractiveness Score (as judged by my wife): 7/10
Kane has been a household name for over a decade at this point, and looks to be staking a claim as the top American-born player of all time. He posted yet another top-10 performance in 2019/20, a practice he has made seem routine at times. He is now on the wrong side of 30 and the inevitable age regression starts to become more of a concern with each passing year. Let’s dig deeper and see if there is any cause for concern:
First off we see that career high IPP mark of 84.85%. That’s not to say Kane hasn’t produced in this stratosphere before or that he won’t again, but he had been more of 77% player the previous three years so it’s a pretty safe bet he won’t see that point share again in 2020/21. He also saw a reduction of 1:09/game in TOI, but is still seeing a ton of ice at 21+ minutes/game. It would be unlikely to see him go higher than this mark and more likely that he’ll regress further toward the 20 minute mark as the Blackhawks grow their young forwards and likely reduce Kane’s workload. Kane’s S% was in line with his career rates as well as his individual chances for rates (ixG, iCF, iFF, iSCF, iHDCF) – not much to see there. Let’s check out his 5v5 WOWY graph:
This is a pretty concerning graph – all that red to the right of the blue and black means that Kane has a significant number of teammates (including Jonathan Toews, Alex DeBrincat, and Brandon Saad) who produce more score-adjusted shots for/60 without Kane than with him. This is the type of graph that you just don’t see with elite players very often. So what do we make of this? Clearly Kane is still putting up tons of points, but it looks like he’s not elevating his teammates significantly which caps his upside. Throw in the inevitable IPP regression and the age consideration, and you have to wonder if Kane’s best seasons are behind him. I put Kane’s floor for 2020/21 at 79 points, with a ceiling at 95 points. He’s not going to kill you, but I can’t recommend him as the automatic first-round pick he has been for years in fantasy drafts heading into the new season.
2020/21 Projection: 82 GP, 35 G, 52 A, 87 PTS
- Kane is due for an IPP regression and shows a puzzling inability to elevate his teammates’ play 5v5
- He shows consistency in individual chances for rates and shooting percentage
- Age regression and time on ice regression becoming more likely every year
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