San Jose Sharks general manager Doug Wilson announced Oct. 10 that the club has re-signed forward Kevin Labanc to a four-year contract. Per club policy, financial terms of the deal were not disclosed.
“Kevin brings a rare level of offensive skill and creativity to our line-up and has established himself as a top-six forward in our league,” said Wilson. “His Game 7 playoff performance last season is one of the most iconic moments in Sharks history and is a perfect example of the impact he can have on a hockey game. Kevin has shown a consistent ability to perform at a high level in both the regular season and the playoffs and he will be a big part of our club in the coming years.”
Labanc, 24, recorded 33 points (14 goals, 19 assists), 38 penalty minutes, three game-winning goals and 176 shots on goal during the 2019-20 season. He ranked tied for second on the team in game-winning goals, tied for third in power-play goals, fourth in shots, fifth in goals, and seventh in points. His 55.3 shot attempt percentage (5-on-5) led all Sharks qualified skaters.
In 2018-19 as 23-year old, Labanc set career highs in points (56), goals (17), assists (39) and ranked sixth in scoring among players from his 2014 draft class. He was the only player in the top six to be drafted after the third round.
“Banker adds some important ingredients to our lineup, especially with how we want to play going forward,” said Boughner. “His creativity makes him a player that other teams have to be aware of and we’re excited to see that on display at both five-on-five and on the power play.”
Despite being selected in the sixth round of the 2014 NHL Draft, Labanc is among the top performers overall from that draft class, ranking 10th in assists (99) and 12th in points (149). Labanc is just one of two players selected in the sixth round or later to have appeared in at least 200 games and is the lowest drafted player in his class with at least 100 points (171st overall).
In addition, he is just one of three players (Brayden Point and Viktor Arvidsson) from the 2014 draft to be selected in the second round or later to be ranked in the top-15 for points with at least 250 NHL games played.
Over four seasons, all with San Jose, the forward has appeared in 284 NHL games and recorded 149 points (50 goals, 99 assists).
In 30 career Stanley Cup Playoff games, Labanc has recorded 14 points (five goals, nine assists) and one game-winning goal with 49 shots. In his second postseason appearance (2019), he nearly doubled his offensive production and set a postseason career high in games played, goals and points. In the Stanley Cup Playoffs, Labanc ranks tied for eighth in games played (30) and 10th in points (14) amongst his draft class. His .52 points-per-game in the regular season is nearly identical to his .47 points per game in the playoffs.
Labanc helped orchestrate one of the most dramatic comebacks in the history of the NHL in Game 7 of the 2019 First Round against the Vegas Golden Knights. Labanc was involved in all four Sharks goals (one goal, three assists) in a four-minute span to become the first player in NHL history to record four points in a period during a Game 7. He also matched the NHL record for most points in any playoff period and became the 13th player in league history to post four or more points in a Game 7.
Prior to joining San Jose, Labanc amassed 269 points (81 goals, 188 assists) in 198 games for the Barrie Colts of the Ontario Hockey League (OHL). During the 2015-16 season, Labanc led the league in points (127), plus/minus (60), assists (88), and was named the Overage Player of the Year, Top Scoring Right Winger and was named to the OHL Second All-Star Team.
Internationally, he has represented the United States in the 2013 U-18 World Jr. Championships, as well as the 2012 World U-17 Hockey Challenge, winning a silver medal in both tournaments.
The 5’11”, 185-pound native of Staten Island, N.Y., was selected by San Jose in the 2014 NHL Draft (sixth round, 171st overall).