Dave Nonis has wasted no time making changes since being anointed the new General Manager of the Toronto Maple Leafs. On Wednesday, he dealt veteran forward Matthew Lombardi to Phoenix for a conditional draft pick and yesterday he placed Tim Connolly on waivers. These changes should result in good news for Nazem Kadri.
Stoney Point - January 18, 2013 - Dave Nonis has wasted no time making changes since being anointed the new General Manager of the Toronto Maple Leafs. On Wednesday, he dealt veteran forward Matthew Lombardi to Phoenix for a conditional draft pick and yesterday he placed Tim Connolly on waivers. These changes should result in good news for Nazem Kadri.
The former London Knights star has been on the bubble the last few years, splitting time between the Leafs and the AHL Toronto Marlies. As result of the changes, Kadri has very quickly moved up the Buds’ depth chart and should be a regular centre in the Leafs lineup this year.
Kadri has only played a total of 51 NHL games over the last three seasons – with a career high in 2010-11 with 29 games. He has 8 goals and 19 points in his NHL career.
So far, Kadri has eight goals and 26 points in 27 points down on the farm with the Marlies. In total, the Leafs 2009 first round pick has scored 107 points in 119 AHL games. Kadri had a successful junior career in London and Kitchener, scoring 258 points in 242. He represented Canada at the World Junior Championships in 2009-10, scoring eight points in six games.
Now is the time for Kadri to make his jump from the AHL to the Leafs top nine. It appears from training camp, that this will be the case as Kadri has been centring a line with James van Riemsdyk and Leo Komarov. All indications point to this being coach Randy Carlyle’s third line to start the season.
“We’d be crazy not to recognize the offensive things he brings to our team,” Carlye said this week.
“Nazem has proven he has NHL skills, and he can produce NHL offence,” Carlyle added.
“The question is: Can he produce it consistently at this level? He’s been one of our strongest players offensively in camp, and we’d be crazy not to recognize the strength he has there.”
I am sure since that day in June 2009 that Kadri was drafted seventh overall by Leafs at the Bell Centre in Montreal, he has been dreaming and working hard for this day - the day before the start of an NHL season where he is pencilled in as a starter.
Kadri has earned this opportunity and the Leafs have been smart to be patient with his development. He has been successful at every level that he has played at and there is no reason to believe that the same won’t be true for his time in the NHL.
Leafs Nation is excited to see #43 on a regular basis.
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