Coming over from Sparta Praha of the Czech Republic league, Kanko made an immediate splash in the OHL. In his first season with the Kitchener Rangers (2001-2002), Kanko was 2nd on the team in goals (28) and points (60). The right winger finished the 2002-2003 season 2nd on the team in goals (33) and tied for 3rd in points (67) while anchoring the Rangers second line.
2003-04: Kanko continued his success in Kitchener as an overager. Set career highs in points and assists and played in the OHL Allstar game where he tallied two goals and an assist. He also scored a goal and an assist for Team Czech in the WJC U20. Joined Manchester at the conclusion of the OHL season to score four points in six regular season games and add another four points in the playoffs.
2004-05: Kanko experienced a bit of a disappointing season. After scoring four points in six games to finish the 2003-04 season, Kanko was poised to have a break-out season. As the work stoppage filled the AHL rosters with NHL level talent, Kanko got pushed to the back lines and never really found his scoring touch. Injuries limited him to just 60 games. Look for Kanko to assume a larger role in Manchester next season.
2005-06: Kanko spent the majority of the season skating in the role of an agitator for Manchester. Kanko received a brief call-up to Los Angeles where he scored his first career NHL goal. Kanko will likely be spending more time in Los Angeles than Manchester from this point on.
2006-07: Continuing as an agitator for the Monarchs, Kanko finished the season with 19 points in 58 games, a slight decline from last season. Kanko spent the entire season in the AHL and sometimes found himself watching the game from the stands as issues on and off the ice began to affect his overall performance.
Petr Kanko is a flashy speedster with a great skating ability to go along with superb acceleration and an excellent scoring touch. Kanko has a nose for the net which he proved at the 2002 U-18 World Junior Championships, where he ranked among the best with 6 goals as an underager.
His hockey sense, vision and reading of plays enable him to foresee scoring opportunities. Kanko has soft hands and very good puckhandling skills which will eventually transfer to the NHL game. Kanko makes smart passes but he prefers to have the puck on his stick most of the time. He possesses a quick and accurate wrist shot.
He's quick on the puck, weaves in and out of traffic, has good trunk movement that allows him to spin away from hits and maintain control of puck. Quick feet, tight turns, good balance. Playing the wrong wing like many other Europeans increases his options for shooting. Has a quick snap and wrist shot, likes to go upstairs with puck after faking and moving to middle for better shooting angle.
Kanko is long removed from his status as diamond in the rough after being drafted in the third round of the 2002 draft. Kanko has made a successful transition into the role of agitator and the departure of Sean Avery paved the way for his place in the NHL. However, the call never came as Kanko battled personal issues that affected his play on the ice and any chance at a subsequent role with the NHL club. The Kings tendered Kanko a qualifying offer and will bring him back into the fold next season, showing at least a willingness to allow him time to address his issues.