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Kane signs seven-year contract with Sharks

Forward would have been unrestricted free agent July 1

by Eric Gilmore / NHL.com Correspondent

SAN JOSE -- Evander Kane signed a seven-year contract with the San Jose Sharks on Thursday.

Financial terms were not released.

"It's good to be wanted, and I wanted them just as much as they wanted me," the 26-year-old forward said. "The fact that we were able to work out a deal so quickly reflects that. Obviously when you're a free agent you have the option to do what you want, and I made it clear to them that I didn't want to go anywhere else. They reflected those same remarks back toward me."

Kane would have become an unrestricted free agent for the first time in his NHL career July 1.

 

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"He's a player that we'd identified for quite a while, that fits how we want to play the game," Sharks general manager Doug Wilson said. "I mean he's only 26, turning 27 (Aug. 2). He plays with great speed and fits with not only our game but where the League is trending. To get him in place and secured was very important to us. Top-six forwards like that, there aren't many out there, and when you get one you want to make sure that he's secured."

The Sharks acquired Kane on Feb. 26 in a trade with the Buffalo Sabres for forward Danny O'Regan and conditional first- and fourth-round picks in the 2019 NHL Draft. Because Kane re-signed with the Sharks, Buffalo will receive San Jose's first-round pick in 2019 instead of a second-round selection. The pick is lottery protected and could be moved to the 2020 NHL Draft.

Video: Discussing Evander Kane's new deal with the Sharks

Kane (6-foot-2, 212 pounds) added a rare combination of size, speed, skill and toughness the Sharks needed down the stretch with center Joe Thornton out with a knee injury. Kane scored two goals and had five assists in his first seven games with San Jose. In his eighth game, he scored his first NHL hat trick with four goals in a 7-4 win against the Calgary Flames on March 16.

Kane had 14 points (nine goals, five assists) in 17 games for the Sharks and sparked an eight-game winning streak during their push to the Stanley Cup Playoffs.

"It gave us an instant boost at a critical time at the trade deadline," coach Peter DeBoer said. "Our record with him in the lineup right after that showed you what he meant to our group down the stretch and heading into the playoffs.

"Let's be honest, you don't find guys like this unless you're picking in the top three, four guys in the draft, and no one wants to be there."

Kane, the No. 4 pick in the 2009 NHL Draft by the Atlanta Thrashers, had 54 points (29 goals, 25 assists) last season with the Sabres and Sharks. He has 354 points (186 goals, 168 assists) in 574 NHL games with the Thrashers, Winnipeg Jets, Sabres and Sharks.

Kane made his playoff debut this season, his ninth in the NHL, and had five points (four goals, one assist) in nine games for the Sharks, who lost in the Western Conference Second Round to the Vegas Golden Knights in six games. He played with a separated shoulder and a knee injury.

Video: VGK@SJS, Gm3: Kane goes top shelf on Fleury

"I want to win," Kane said. "I've won at every level outside of the NHL level. Having tasted playoff hockey for the first time with this group, the belief I have with this group moving forward in the future is very strong. I think we can only get better as a group. I'm looking forward to the future."

DeBoer said he is looking forward to coaching Kane for years to come.

"When you're signing free agents, especially elite players and guys that are going to play huge roles for you, you really want to know about them as much as possible," DeBoer said. "And you really don't know a player until you stand behind the bench and are around them every day. So that was a nice luxury to have. I think we all felt comfortable that this was a guy that could help us win, and that's why Doug went out and got it done."

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