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Oilers’ Janmark and Kostin Stepped Up Big in Kane’s Absence

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Wednesday (Jan. 18) will mark exactly 10 weeks from when the Edmonton Oilers recalled forwards Mattias Janmark and Klim Kostin from their American Hockey League (AHL) affiliate, the Bakersfield Condors. 

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The moves coincided with Evander Kane being placed on long-term injured reserve (LTIR). He had just undergone surgery after his left wrist was cut by a skate blade in a frightening scene against the Tampa Bay Lightning on Nov. 8, and was expected to be out of action for months. 

Evander Kane Edmonton Oilers
Evander Kane, Edmonton Oilers (Amy Irvin / The Hockey Writers)

The prospect of being without Kane for such a length of time caused widespread panic in Oil Country. Since joining the team midway through the 2021-22 season, the imposing power forward had become a massive presence in Edmonton’s lineup for both his offence and toughness. 

In 43 regular season games, Kane scored 22 goals and added 15 assists. He then helped propel the Oilers on their longest postseason run in 16 years, to the 2022 Western Conference Final, with 13 goals and four assists in 15 playoff games.  

Through the first 14 games this season, Kane scored five goals and added eight assists, ranking fifth on the Oilers in points, behind forwards Connor McDavid, Leon Draisaitl, Ryan Nugent-Hopkins, and Zach Hyman. Kane’s contributions weren’t going to be replicated easily, and most certainly not by depth forwards the ilk of Janmark, a journeyman veteran on his fourth team in as many seasons, and Kostin, an unproven 23-year-old with all of 46 games of experience in the NHL. At least, that’s what Oil Country thought. 

Janmark and Kostin Contributing Offence 

Edmonton has now played 31 games without Kane. In that span, the Oilers’ top four leading point-producers continue to be McDavid, Draisaitl, Nugent-Hopkins and Hyman, while there’s a tie for the fifth-highest point-scoring forward: it’s between Janmark and Kostin. 

Janmark has played all 31 games since his recall, scoring four goals and notching nine assists. Kostin has suited up for 29 games, potting nine goals and recording four assists. 

Mattias Janmark Edmonton Oilers
Mattias Janmark, Edmonton Oilers (Photo by Andy Devlin/NHLI via Getty Images)

Combined, they have scored 13 times and assisted on 13 others. Based over 31 games, that’s an average of 0.42 goals, 0.42 assists, and 0.84 points per game. Over his 57 regular season games as an Oiler, Kane’s per-game averages are 0.47 goals, 0.40 assists and 0.88…

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