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Kane jokes he's aiming for '100 goals, 100 assists' on Oilers top line with McDavid and Brown

Oilers forward Evander Kane jokes with reporters at Rogers Place in Edmonton on September 27, 2023 (David C. Parker/TSN) Oilers forward Evander Kane jokes with reporters at Rogers Place in Edmonton on September 27, 2023 (David C. Parker/TSN)

After a rough second season in Edmonton – including a gruesome wrist slice and broken ribs – Evander Kane has high hopes for his potential on a new-look Oilers first line.

"100 goals, 100 assists, 200 points," Kane told reporters with a big laugh Wednesday.

"Well no one ever gives you guys a number so I thought I'd throw one out there for ya. You're welcome!"

Jokes aside, Kane's encouraged by his recovery and excited to play a preseason game Wednesday night alongside MVP Connor McDavid and new addition Connor Brown.

"We all do things differently. I think Brownie, he obviously hunts pucks and he's quick down low in the corners and is elusive and I think he can definitely add to Connor and I," Kane said.

The Edmonton Oilers power forward missed 41 games because of injuries last year.

He had emergency surgery in November after an opponent's skate sliced his wrist open. In February, he missed more games with broken ribs, something he played through at times.

Still, he managed to finish the year with 16 goals in 41 games.

It was not the pace he set with 13 in 15 games in the playoffs prior, but Kane said he still found a way to bring something positive to the team.

"I feel better today than I did after I came back after two-and-a-half months and they told me I was probably done for the year," Kane said of his wrist injury and speedy recovery.

"If you feel you can contribute to the team in some way, I'm of the mindset that I want to be in the lineup. That might not always be scoring but contributing in other ways."

McDavid said he was impressed with what Kane was able to accomplish despite not being 100 per cent.

"This game is hard. If you're not healthy, it's almost impossible. He grinded through a lot of things last year, it's good to see him back healthy. He's feeling good, he looks good. I'd expect his game to go back to where we saw it," McDavid said.

Kane and McDavid took the morning skate on a line with Brown, who missed all but four games last year for the Washington Capitals with a leg injury.

McDavid, who played junior for the Erie Otters alongside Brown, is hopeful the chemistry is still there and he said adding Kane has gone well so far.

"I've liked it. Obviously, I know Brownie really well and Kaner has come in and he's looked really good right off the bat. Three pretty good players and a good chance tonight to see it in game action," he told reporters.

Head coach Jay Woodcroft described Brown as a "dog-on-a-bone worker bee" before saying he also believes the former sixth-round draft pick has the ability to keep up with his talented linemates.

"I think, at his best, he has some underrated offensive skill. He can make a play. His work ethic shouldn't be the only way we describe him. He has good skills and we are going to see if there's some chemistry," Woodcroft said.

The coach acknowledged the lines will change throughout the year, but Leon Draisaitl, Ryan Nugent-Hopkins and Zach Hyman skated together on a second line.

The Oilers will face off against the Vancouver Canucks shortly after 7 p.m. The regular season starts Oct. 11. Top Stories

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