Happy Draft Anniversary, Patrick Kane!

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Patrick Kane 2007 NHL Draft

Happy Draft Anniversary, Patrick Kane!

Chicago Blackhawks

As the Chicago Blackhawks embark on a rebuild this summer, and we spend more time than we’d like discussing the team’s best players leaving, it’s worth taking a moment to look back and appreciate a special anniversary in the franchise’s history.

On June 22, 2007, the Chicago Blackhawks owned the first overall pick in the NHL Draft for the first time in the history of the Original Six franchise. Their options at No. 1 were three really good forwards: James Van Riemsdyk from the US National Development Program, Kyle Turris from the NCHL and Patrick Kane, who had broken records with the London Knights.

When general manager Dale Tallon approached the podium, the choice was emphatic. Patty Kane was coming to Chicago.

Would you look at that baby face!

In the 15 years since that day, Kane has become the greatest American-born player in NHL history. Bold statement? Sure. But his numbers back it up — as do his numbers justifying him being the first selection that year.

Kane was the first player from the 2007 NHL draft to reach 1,100 games played; only Jakub Voracek and Wayne Simmons have reached 1,000 from that draft class thus far.

Simply the best

Voracek, the seventh overall pick that year by Columbus, finished this past season with exactly 800 regular season points in his career. He ranks second in the 2007 NHL draft class behind Kane — who has 1,180 career points. That’s *this close* to a 50 percent gap between first and second place in a draft that has produced some legitimate stars in the NHL.

Kane’s 430 career goals rank first, 101 ahead of Jamie Benn of the Dallas Stars. Only Kane, Benn and Max Pacioretty have scored at least 300 goals in their career from that draft; Logan Couture will join them with four goals next season.

Kane’s 750 career assists are 172 more than Voracek, who ranks second from that draft class in that category as well. Only Kane, Voracek and Benn have reached 400 career assists; David Perron needs four to join them.

According to Hockey Reference, Kane’s 133.4 career point share is 41.6 more than Benn, who ranks second. Only Kane, Benn, PK Subban and Pacioretty have reached an 80 point share to date.

Blackhawks legend

On Twitter we throw around the term “Blackhawks legend” in jest referencing players who didn’t exactly qualify for “Legend” status. But Kane is a legitimate icon who belongs on Chicago’s Mount Rushmore.

This past season, Kane moved past Bobby Hull into fourth all-time in regular season games played in the Indian head. Only Stan Mikita (1,396), Duncan Keith (1,192) and Brent Seabrook (1,114) have appeared in more games for the Blackhawks than Kane (1,107), and he could pass Seabrook into third if he appears in just eight games this coming season.

It’s remarkable looking back at the dynasty roster that three of the top four players in regular season games played were from the most recent generation. And Jonathan Toews (1,014) could pass Hull with 23 games this coming season.

This past season, Kane passed Hull into second all-time in regular season points for the Blackhawks as well; he trails only Mikita in that category as well. He ranks third in goals and second in assists in franchise history.

His numbers warrant the spot on Chicago’s Mount Rushmore. But when you add his Hart Trophy, Conn Smythe Trophy, Art Ross Trophy, multiple Olympic medals and three Stanley Cup rings, it’s clear that selecting Patrick Kane was the right call for the Blackhawks in 2007.

Oh, and then there was the whole Cup-clinching goal in 2010…

Players like Kaner don’t come along very often. And the Blackhawks finding another player of his caliber to be the offensive juggernaut of the next generation will require some terrible hockey and luck in the draft lottery next year. But we shouldn’t take for granted just how special Kane has been for the Blackhawks during his Hall of Fame career.

Author: Tab Bamford

Tab is the Lead Blackhawks voice for BN. He is the author of two books about the Blackhawks, most recently "Chicago Blackhawks: An Illustrated Timeline" (Reedy Press, 2021). Find him on Twitter at @The1Tab