Forensics: Nazem Kadri

Anthony Lancione

2013-03-23

 

Kadri USA Today Images

 

Lancione takes a look at Nazem Kadri’s incredibly 2013 campaign.

 

It is amazing what can transpire over the course of two months in hockey. Often times, athletes struggle to combine their natural gifts with the polish, the effort, the discipline, the defensive awareness and sense of responsibility at the same time.


 Through nine weeks it would appear that Nazem Kadri, almost four years removed from his draft day, has finally made his mark on the NHL. Sitting in eighth place in the NHL scoring race, Kadri is really proving to be a boon to Randy Carlyle's Leafs. To think that Nazem was deemed to be in "unacceptable shape" by Dallas Eakins upon arriving in camp this fall.

 

It would appear to most observers, fans and pundits alike at AHL training camp that the strides Nazem made last spring in assisting the Marlies on their Calder Cup run weren’t going to carry over. It was much documented that he was lacking conditioning wise. However, upon further review it could be seen as a little rust that had to be shaken off as his summer plan set for him by upper brass and former GM Brian Burke was carried through in full.

 

Then again, for decades wasn't training camp all about shaking the rust off? Sure, times have changed and guys all over the league no longer take months off at a time before taking the old blades out for their first skate the final week of August. Yes, naturally that's a thing of the past, but Kadri's sluggishness may have been induced by his newly beefed up frame, as per his off-season regimen. He did put together a decent AHL campaign during the NHL lockout. However, when placed alongside talented professionals on the big club, his skillset has certainly been much more transparent.

 

He's been playing with a number of different guys, performing admirably with all of them, most notably the mix and match, skill and grit linemates of Frattin and Komarov, as per Frozen Pools' Most Frequent Line Combination Generator.

 

2013 Season to date