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by Erin Pollina / Buffalo Sabres
Patrick Kane (Photo: Getty Images)

Patrick Kane may have inked his first NHL deal with the Chicago Blackhawks this summer, but long before he was taken first overall in the 2007 draft, his name was cemented in Buffalo Sabres hockey- quite literally.
“I signed the last piece of steel to go up in the HSBC Arena,” Kane said.
The 19-year-old NHL rookie grew up just 10 minutes away from the arena and, in turn, became a fan of the blue and gold squad. With the accompaniment of aunt, a councilwoman in Buffalo, he was able to autograph the home of his childhood team.
“We just loved the Sabres at that age,” Kane said. “I remember showing up with my blue [Dominik] Hasek jersey with the old uniform. I can't remember what I signed on the steel… I'm pretty sure it was next to Seymour Knox.”
Now bearing a jersey with his own name on the back, Kane will return to his hometown Saturday for his first game against the Sabres. It's a rite of passage of sorts for the future NHL star, returning to the place where it all began.
“Buffalo is pretty much where my life is. It's where my family is. It's where my life started,” Kane said. “It's going to be awesome. I'm not really sure what to expect right now, but I'm sure it will be a lot of fun for me.”
The fans, most likely, will not leave disappointed either. Kane leads all NHL rookies in scoring this season with 28 points (7+21) in 29 games.

Oddly enough, the first time Kane found the net in the NHL was against Hasek, the former Sabres netminder, to clinch the game in a shootout Oct. 6 against the Red Wings. However, as shootout points do not count in individual player statistics, it was not registered as Kane’s first NHL goal. That feat would come two weeks later against the Colorado Avalanche in a three-point performance by the rookie (1+2).
“It's funny how a lot of things have worked out,” he said.
It seems the only thing Kane has to worry about now is finding tickets for his extended network of friends and family.
“They’ve been pretty good about it. I think I only have to get about 15 to 20 tickets for the game. That should be good,” he said. “I think with a lot of my friends, they went out and bought the tickets early… Either way, if I have to buy some tickets for them, I'll definitely do it just so they can be a part of it.”
After that, Kane can just enjoy the moment.
“I know going back to Buffalo, that rink where I watched so many games, played mini sticks in the hallways, little things like, that I finally get to play on the ice after being there for so long.”

Kane is the 21st Buffalo native to have played in the NHL and the 74th player to come out of New York State. See below for the complete list of Buffalo and New York State NHL players. 

NHL Players Born in Buffalo
Adams, Kevyn 1997-? (Buffalo, NY)
Askey, Tom 1997-1998 (Kenmore, NY)
Britz, Greg 1983-1986 (Buffalo, NY)
Brownschidle, Jack 1977-1985 (Buffalo, NY)
Brownschidle, Jeff 1981-1982 (Buffalo, NY)
Farkas, Jeff 1999-2002 (Williamsville, NY)
Foligno, Nick 2007-? (Buffalo, NY)
Kaleta, Patrick 2006-? (Angola, NY)
Kane, Patrick 2007-? (Buffalo, NY)
Larman, Drew 2006-? (Buffalo, NY)
Marchant, Todd 1993-? (Buffalo, NY)
McFall, Dan 1984-1985 (Kenmore, NY)
Miller, Aaron 1993-? (Buffalo, NY)
Orpik, Brooks 2002-? (Amherst, NY)
Ratchuk, Peter 1998-2000 (Buffalo, NY)
Sauve, Philippe 2005-? (Buffalo, NY)
Scamurra, Peter 1975-1979 (Buffalo, NY)
Stempniak, Lee 2005-? (West Seneca, NY)
Thomas, Scott 1992-2000 (Buffalo, NY)
Tuzzolino, Tony 1997-2001 (Buffalo, NY)
Zent, Jason 1996-1998 (Buffalo, NY)
NHL Players Born in New York
Bonsignore, Jason 1994-1998 (Rochester, NY)
Boulerice, Jesse 2001-? (Plattsburgh, NY)
Bouillon, Francis 1997-? (NewYork, NY)
Brennan, Rich 1996-2002 (Schenectady, NY)
Brown, Dustin 2005-? (Ithaca, NY)
Burch, Billy 1922-1932 (Yonkers, NY)
Callahan, Ryan 2006-? (Rochester, NY)
Ciavaglia, Peter 1991-1992 (Albany, NY)
Cole, Erik 2001-? (Oswego, NY)
Connolly, Tim 1999-? (Baldwinsville, NY)
Conroy, Craig 1994-? (Potsdam, NY)
Crawford, Bobby 1980-1982 (Long Island, NY)
Darby, Craig 1994-? (Oneida, NY)
Dorion, Dan 1985-1987 (Astoria, NY)
Drulia, Stan 1992-2000 (Elmira, NY)
Dunham, Mike 1996-? (Johnson City, NY)
Esche, Robert 1998-?(Utica, NY)
Fauss, Ted 1986-1987 (Clinton, NY)
Ferraro, Chris 1995-2001 (Port Jefferson, NY)
Ferraro, Peter 1995-2001 (Port Jefferson, NY)
Fitzpatrick, Rory 1995-? (Rochester, NY)
Fotiu, Nick 1976-1988 (Staten Island, NY)
Gionta, Brian 2001-? (Rochester, NY)
Haggerty, Sean 1995-2000 (Rye, NY)
Hansen, Richie 1976-1981 (Northport, NY)
Hebert, Guy 1991-2000 (Troy, NY)
Higgins, Chris 2005-? (Smithtown, NY)
Howard, James 2005-? (Ogensburgh, NY)
Hurlbut, Mike 1992-1999 (Massena, NY)
Ingarfield, Earl 1979-1980 (Manhasset, NY)
Komisarek, Mike 2002-? (Islip Terrace, NY)
Kuntar, Les 1993-1993 (Elmira, NY)
LaShoff, Matt 2006-? (East Greenbush, NY)
Leach, Jay 2005-? (Syracuse, NY)
Levinsky, Alex 1930-1938 (Syracuse, NY)
Middendorf, Max 1986-1990 (Syracuse, NY)
Mullen, Brian 1982-1992 (New York, NY)
Mullen, Joe 1979-1996 (New York, NY)
Murley, Matt 2005-? (Troy, NY)
Nystrom, Eric 2005-? (Syosset, NY)
Patrick, Glenn 1973-1976 (New York, NY)
Pavese, Jim 1981-1988 (New York, NY)
Pratt, Tracy 1967-1976 (New York, NY)
Randall, Ken 1917-1926 (Watertown, NY)
Reasoner, Marty 1998-? (Rochester, NY)
Reece, Dave 1975-1975 (Troy, NY)
Roy, Andre 1995-? (Port Chester, NY)
Schaefer, Joe 1959-1960 (Long Island, NY)
Schneider, Mathieu 1987-? (New York, NY)
Schremp, Rob 2007-? (Fulton, NY)
Scuderi, Rob 2005-? (Syosset, NY)
Skidmore, Paul 1981-1981 (Smithtown, NY)
Walsh, Mike 1987-1988 (New York, NY)
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