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Player Review: Ondrej Kase
By Garrett Funk
Ondrej Kase had a breakout 2017-18 season. The 22-year-old Czech right wing put up a career-high 38 points with a line of 20-18=38 with a +/- of +18. The second year winger burst onto the scene as one of Anaheim’s top scoring threats and only played in 66 games. Kase had an upper-body injury after taking a hit by Kurtis MacDermid of the Los Angeles Kings causing him to miss some time. When he was in action, Kase was noticeable more often than not. On more than one occasion, he scored the game-winner for Anaheim whether it was in regulation or overtime. Fans were in awe of Kase multiple times throughout the year because of his hard work and dynamic skill set. Kase was a depth player that took a huge step this season towards becoming one of Anaheim’s most important players. The winger had the 5th most points for the team and likely would have placed higher if he did not miss any time.
The good: Kase posted career highs in goals, assists, points, games played, and +/-. He was one of the bright spots for Anaheim all year when he was healthy. The team could count on him to work hard every night and he scored some very important goals during the season. Kase teamed with Adam Henrique and Nick Ritchie to form a formidable line that dominated at times. The chemistry of that line showed multiple times throughout the season and they had some very impressive games together. Kase’s 20 goals were a huge part of the run to the playoffs for the Ducks, and without him stepping up, they might not have had enough secondary scoring to make it. Kase took a huge step forward this year and will likely only get better. He has a great chance of becoming a 30 goal scorer each year.
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The bad: A negative may be that since Kase is such a high energy player and plays so hard, he is prone to injury at times. Due to his small size, he is often prone to taking big hits and that has led to injuries in the past. If he improves his awareness on the ice and plays safer at times, the winger should be able to stay healthy. Adding size to his frame would benefit him as well when taking hits from opponents that are bigger than him. With these improvements and staying healthy over the course of the year, Kase should put up 50 or more points a year soon.
Ondrej Kase is a restricted free agent this offseason. With the breakout season he had and how important he is to this Ducks team, I see him staying with the team by signing an extension. Kase should get a raise with this contract based on the productive season he had.
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May 3rd, 2018