Today, I bring you a transcript of what turned out to be a really good, eye opening interview, with Nazem Kadri talking on Cybulski & Company (TSN). You can listen to the full interview here. The reporters really took a swing at the kid, throwing someÂ hardball questions his way but he passed with flying colors. I have to say I’m impressed.
Q: How do you feel about moving to the wing?
A: Yeah, I don’t mind it, obviously I’m a natural centerman, but I’ve played the wing throughout my whole junior career as well and I’ve adjusted to both of them.
Q: Where do you see yourself fitting in to this team come training camp?
A: Obviously, I want to be an impact player, I think I could bring a lot to the team and fit into a top six role, definitely help the team on the powerplay. Iâ€™ve been working hard this offseason and am expecting big things out of myself this year.
Q: What was your reaction when being told about moving to the wing? Youâ€™re a natural centerman so Iâ€™m guessing your first reaction was â€œThis is not idealâ€?
A: Yeah sort of, but like I said before with the Hunters in junior in London and Peter De Boer in Kitchener, both coaches taught me to play both center and wing.
Q: Coming into next year, what experience do you take from the 29 NHL games played so far?
A: Obviously it was a wakeup call, had bit of a rollercoaster ride last year, being called up and sent down but thatâ€™s all part of maturing as a young hockey player. I think itâ€™s tougher to play in the NHL; guys are stronger, faster and you have to do things twice as quick.
Q: There is a lot of anticipation in Leafs Nation about you making the team from camp this year, are you ready to finally make that full time jump?
A: Yeah, absolutely. I definitely feel more than capable, my skillset is there, I think Iâ€™m able to make plays at top speed. I think I can crack the lineup. Last year I focused a little bit too much on putting on some weight and that aspect of it and this year Iâ€™m trying to turn that fat into muscle and get stronger in my lower body. Hopefully, Iâ€™ll be a lot more explosive this year.
Q: Whatâ€™s it like to develop as a young hockey player, a Maple Leafs prospect? When I think about you getting sent down last year itâ€™s like front page headlines in newspapers, you kind of have to grow up in front of everybody under this big spotlight.
A: Itâ€™s definitely a little bit challenging sometimes, you know there are a lot of people doubting you and you just have to look past that. The Toronto market makes young players mature a couple of years faster, but honestly, thatâ€™s whatâ€™s going to make me a pro, make me stick in the National Hockey League, if thatâ€™s what it costs, so be it.
Q: Do you ever look at the players who were drafted the same time you were, but in smaller markets where guys get sent down and called up and itâ€™s not front page news, do you ever look at that and wonder how it would be like?
A: Yeah, a little bit. It kind of comes with the territory, I was drafted by Toronto, I knew exactly what I was coming into and I was more than happy to do it. I can definitely handle pressure like this. I know people are expecting a lot from me, but Iâ€™m expecting even more from myself.
Q: Is this a playoff team next year?
A: Honest to God, I think so. Especially if everyone stays healthy. Weâ€™re pretty young, weâ€™ve got young talent, forwards that can skate, all around defensemen, Burkie acquired a puck moving defenseman now and honestly I think this is a good mix for a playoff team.