Chris Relke

Battle of the Giants: Brendan Gallagher versus Evander Kane

 

The Giants have had many alumni make the NHL, but two of the most recognizable names are Brendan Gallagher and Evander Kane. They both have had a successful career so far in the NHL, and are important pieces for their respective teams. The question now is who has had a better career overall so far? This article will dig deeper into both players’ careers looking at not just statistics, but overall importance to their team, the way they play, and other factors to determine who has had the better career.

Time with the Vancouver Giants:

(Photo- Chris Relke)

Both players had success with the Vancouver Giants.

Evander Kane was part of the Memorial Cup-winning team in 2007, while Gallagher is the franchises all-time leader in goals. Gallagher also captained the Giants in 2011-2012. Although Gallagher is the all-time leader in goals and points, as far as individual seasons, Kane wins this category. Kane put up 48 goals and 96 points in 2008-2009, while Gallagher’s best year came in 2010-2011, he posted 44 goals and 91 points. Kane does lead Gallagher in championships, however, it is important to note the Kane was a rookie at the time and played less than 20 games total in the regular season and playoffs that season. Looking at the totals of their junior careers, Gallagher was better as a Giant therefore he takes the first matchup.

Draft:

(Photo- Vancouver Giants)

Evander Kane was drafted by the Atlanta Thrashers fourth overall in the 2009 NHL Entry Draft. Billed as a first-line power forward by most experts, Kane was a can’t miss prospect. Gallagher fell all the way to the fifth round and was taken 147th overall by the Montreal Canadians. Although Gallagher produced in the WHL, he was considered small and some scouts thought he would have trouble in the pro game.

Based on draft stock and position, it is clear the Evander Kane wins this round.

International Success:

Both players have played for the IIHF World Junior and Men’s World Championships. Gallagher made the U-17 Canada Pacific team, the 2012 World Junior team, and the 2016 World Championship team. Gallagher won gold with Canada in 2016, but only managed a bronze at the World Juniors and a silver at the U-17. Kane on the other hand has had more opportunities to represent Canada as he has played for the gold medal-winning Ivan Hlinka Cup Canadian team in 2008 and followed it up with a gold at the World Juniors in 2009. Evander Kane has also played for Team Canada at the men’s level but has never medaled. He was part of the 2010, 2011, and 2012 teams that could not make it to the medal rounds. Both players have had success with Team Canada, however, Kane’s resume is overall better than Gallagher’s.

Kane wins round three.

Pro Career:

(Photo- Vancouver Giants)

Both players have had successful NHL career

s. Each player has eclipsed 30 goals twice, and are 40-50 point players. Each is a key piece of their team’s offense. Both are physical and don’t mind getting to the front of the net.

Advanced stats is one way to separate these players. Over their careers, Gallagher owns a 3.7 oiGF/60, while Kane comes in at 3.1oiGF/60. This means that for every 60 minutes that the player plays, Gallagher is on the ice more when his team scores compared to Kane. The same trend exists defensively. While Kane owns a 3.0 oiGA/60, Gallagher’s numbers are way better with a 2.3 oiGA/60. These statistics tell us that when Gallagher is on the ice, his team scores more, and has less goals against compared to when Kane is on the ice

Overall, Gallagher has been more consistent so he wins this round.

Playoff Success:

Gallagher and Kane have played in the playoffs, but neither has had great success. Kane has six goals in 29 games, while Gallagher sits at 11 in 49 games. With Kane being in Winnipeg and Buffalo for most of his career, he did not make the playoffs until year 10 of his career. Gallagher on the other hand has only missed the playoffs three times. Both have reached the conference finals, but neither has been to the Stanley Cup. Part of being good in the playoffs is helping your team make it.

Gallagher has consistently helped his team make the playoffs, therefore is deemed champion of this round.

Last Season:

Both players had decent seasons last year. Kane ended the year with 26 goals and 47 points in 64 games, while Gallagher scored 22 goals and had 43 points in 59 games. Since these are pretty even on the surface, we must rely on advanced stats to help tell them apart.

In almost every advanced stat category, Gallagher came out on top for this past season. In goals per 60 minutes, Gallagher held a slight lead at 1.3g/60 compared to Kane’s 1.2g/60. The same can be said about assists per 60 minutes. Gallagher registered 1.3a/60, while Kane was stuck at 1.0 assists/60 minutes. When looking at who is on the ice more when their team scored, Gallagher leads that category as well with 4.4 oiGF/60 compared to Kane’s 3.5 oiGF/60. In terms of goals against, both players were tied with 3.0 oiGF/60.

The biggest difference between these two players is that Montreal made the playoffs while San Jose did not. Although Gallagher did not put up big points in the playoffs, his grit and presence helped guide his team to their play-in series win versus the Penguins, and through the first round. Gallagher had the better regular season and made the playoffs so he had the better season this year.

Fan Vote:

The results of the Twitter poll were:

Conclusion:

(Photo- Chris Relke)

In conclusion, Gallagher has had the better career so far. Although Kane has been great so far in his career, Gallagher’s mix of leadership and a willingness to do whatever it takes to win gives him a slight edge. In the battle of Evander Kane versus Brendan Gallagher, the former Giants captain and current Montreal Canadian’s player comes out on top.

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