Kane had 62 goals and 83 assists in 58 games last season, playing with the London Knights of the Ontario Hockey League. The Buffalo native was the top-rated skater by the International Scouting Services and became the sixth American-born player taken No. 1 in the draft.
For the first time in draft history, American players were the first two chosen.
Philadelphia selected winger James van Riemsdyk of Middletown, N.J., with the second pick.
Canadian Kyle Turris, a center, went third to Phoenix, after which the Los Angeles Kings drafted defenseman Thomas Hickey of Calgary, Alberta.
The rest of the top 10 choices were: defenseman Karl Alzner (to Washington); center Sam Gagner (to Edmonton); winger Jakub Voracek (to Columbus); center Zach Hamill (to Boston); center Logan Couture (to San Jose); and defenseman Keaton Ellerby (to Florida).