The Topeka RoadRunners had an extra skater show up at practice on Monday in Cumming, Ga., just north of Atlanta where the North American Hockey (NAHL) team held its training camp.
The player was Evander Kane, who was selected fourth overall in the 2009 NHL Entry Draft by the Atlanta Thrashers after a stellar run with the Vancouver Giants of the Western Hockey League (WHL).
His appearance at the RoadRunners’ practice, which was orchestrated by team owner Don Stone, was a complete surprise to the players and, on the ice, Kane didn’t disappoint.
“It was awesome to watch him and to see how he moves,” said RoadRunners forward Nate Milam. “It was absolutely unreal.”
Kane, who won a Memorial Cup with the Giants in 2007, posted 14 goals for 26 points in 66 regular-season games with the Thrashers last season - his rookie year.
Internationally, Kane has won gold medals with Team Canada at the 2008 Ivan Hlinka Memorial Tournament and 2009 World Junior Championship.
“He seemed very comfortable out there with players his own age,” said RoadRunners head coach Scott Langer. “It was great to see someone the same age as our own players in such top condition and already a season into the NHL.”