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Chicago Blackhawks

Patrick Kane Wins the Art Ross Trophy

USATSI_9240412_154158418_lowresChicago Blackhawks forward Patrick Kane will be the first American-born player to win the Art Ross Trophy.

His team put their regular season to an end on Saturday night with a 5-4 overtime loss to the Columbus Blue Jackets, but Kane snapped up two goals and an assist and put himself in line for 106 points on the season.

Kane has 46 goals and 60 assists for the 2015-2016 regular season, which dwarfs his second-best season by a considerable margin. The 27-year-old from Buffalo had 88 points in the 2009-2010 season, but he’s never been more efficient or effective on the ice.

Kane put a career-high 287 shots on target this season, firing at a 16 percent efficiency rate. He had nine game-winning goals, 17 power play goals and 37 power play points.

Kane’s 2015-2016 point totals are the most in the National Hockey League since Evgeni Malkin delivered 109 in 2011-2012. He’s also the first Blackhawk to the lead the league in scoring since a little someone called Stan Mikita accomplished the feat in 1967-1968.

“This year definitely I probably took it to another level,” Kane said. “I obviously have to thank my teammates and my linemates (Artem Anisimov and Artemi Panarin). They were awesome this year. The power play was special, except for a little funk there for a bit, but that obviously helps to inflate the numbers a bit.”

Kane is the first American-born player to score 100 points since Doug Weight did it with the Edmonton Oilers in 1995-1996. He’s also the first Blackhawk to do it since Jeremy Roenick, who put up 107 points in 1993-1994.

“Yeah, so many great players have come and went, and even in the League now, so that’s surprising to think,” Kane said. “I know [Pat] LaFontaine had a big chance one year and [Mario] Lemieux came back from injury and kind of stole it from him. There’s been some great seasons by American-born players. I think I’m lucky and fortunate to be the first one to win it.”

LaFontaine did indeed come close to doing it in 1992-1993, when he put up 148 points. Unfortunately for him, Super Mario finished the season with 160 points.

In 658 career games, Kane has 251 goals and 412 assists for a total of 663 points. We may never see the likes of LaFontaine or Lemieux again on the scoreboard, but Kane is one crafty American worth keeping an eye on.

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