“Kaner” certainly found himself in his fair share of trouble early on in his career, but his outgoing personality, commitment to a rigorous work ethic, and relentless dedication to the game have helped him to turn things around.
Patrick Kane has endeared himself to Chicago Blackhawks fans during his young hockey career. The 24 year old phenom has come a long way since being drafted with the first overall pick in the 2007 entry draft, maturing as both a hockey player and as a person on the most dramatic of stages.
At the rink, he has become an integral part of one of the most exciting teams in the league, culminating with his hard-earned Conn Smythe Trophy after leading the Blackhawks to victory in the 2013 Stanley Cup Finals.
Outside the rink, Kane has transformed himself from a hockey hopeful looking to discover an identity to a pillar of the Chicago community. You can tell by the way he carries himself, and even by the changing tone of his interviews that, at some point, he came to an awareness of “what really matters now” and it’s been all uphill from there. Kane went from an exciting but erratic young hockey hopeful to a man who can be counted on to deliver superior performance when it matters most.
His developing maturity as a person and an athlete caused him to reflect upon what it meant that the Blackhawks brass kept the team together after two consecutive first-round exits from the playoffs:
They left us together for a reason. Let’s show them why.
Still early in his career, his list of accomplishments is remarkable:
2006 U18 All-Star Team
OHL All-Rookie Team (2007)
OHL First All-Star Team (2007)
OHL Rookie of the Year (2007)
CHL Rookie of the Year (2007)
2007 WJC All-Star Team
NHL All-Rookie Team (2008)
Calder Memorial Trophy (2008)
Played in Three All-Star Games (2009, 2011, 2012)
Second Star of the Week, December 20–26, 2009
Third Star of the Month, December 2009
2010 Winter Olympics silver medal
2010 Stanley Cup champion
Scored the Stanley Cup Winning Goal 2010
2010 First Team NHL All-Star
THN’s Pavel Bure Award (Best Shootout Shooter) (2013)
Conn Smythe Trophy (Playoff MVP) 2013
2013 Stanley Cup champion
This is all good news for both Blackhawks fans and the organization as a whole. Chicago is looking to forge a sustainable competitive advantage, and #88 will play a huge part in making that a reality. At only 24 years of age, Chicago has good reason to believe that the best in Patrick has yet to be revealed.
Wins and losses will come and go, but as long as Patrick Kane is wearing a Blackhawks uniform, Chicago will be right in the thick of the hunt for Lord Stanley’s Cup year after year.