Updated scouting reports for recent call ups Nazem Kadri and Matt Lashoff (with files from Clayton Hansler):
Ranked 7th in AHL rookie scoring with 41 pts (44-17-24-41) and second overall in the AHL with eight first goals .. Kadri has adapted to some added bulk and cranked up the toughness .. isn’t afraid to engage in tight and along the boards .. physical game isn’t his forte however, despite improvement, and he relies on skills and dangles .. can waiver with intensity blending into the background, yet explosive enough to be able to exploit breakdowns and set up scoring chances seemingly out of nowhere that can change the tide of a game (first goals to open the game are an example) ..
(cont’d) slowly adapting to the pace and timing of the pro game and learning to integrate more toe-drags and quick releases at better frequency and less risky spots on the ice .. shown shooter instincts, rather than playmaker but with good vision and distribution skills .. will move in off the half boards for a better angle to use his wrist shot or cut in off the wing on the rush into the middle and take a shot .. will take face offs as a center in the offensive zone and center ice, but not in the defensive zone .. plays the defensive posture of a winger high in the zone rather than a center down low near the crease .. slowly maturing defensively, but a work in progress, while a change in position changes his role introducing new responsibility and adapting to that .. there’s a temptation in exiting the zone for quick breaks, but he’s not the fastest skater and his first two-step quickness while better, still needs to improve .. rides shotgun on the PP with Joe Colborne at center since his arrival and have looked better together as a tandem than both individually .. could be a future second line pairing in the making
In the offensize zone, Kadri has a bad habit carrying the puck too long and too high instead of cycling it back to the D. It has lead to numerous turnovers through the season. Although improvement is evident, he still has not gotten away from it.
His cuts off the wing to the high slot are often-high risk, and at times, head down. This said, he scored goals on both Saturday and Sunday on very similar plays. He didn’t respond well to coaches advice on avoiding these plays.
Kadri still over-passes. Eakins encouraging him to shoot more. He did over the weekend – and resulted in three goals.
Kadri has a superb mixture of balance and puck control. This allows him to swing the puck far out to the side, shift his body weight, and continue to maneuver the puck around or through the defender. This, mixed with his vision and creativity, works extremely well in one-on-one or one-on-two scenarios where he only has a defender or two to get around – this though is a hinderance when he’s entering the offensive zone of a team like MTB or WBS with at least one forward back. This is when he begins to hold onto the puck too long, and then loses focus on all opponents around him – leading to turnovers.
Appeared in all but one game this season (injury) – the most of any Marlies player .. made a greater comittment to defense, in particular better support positions .. has a plus-4 rating, his second AHL season as a plus (plus-11 in Providence) .. had (3-10-13) power play points in 69 GP .. with (7-21-28) ranked 29th among AHL defensemen in scoring .. exploits good size and strength to lay out some big checks along the boards .. exhibits ‘happy feet’ at times when trying to gain sharp angles to limit space or to lay out a big hit .. mobile from the back and more selective about jumping into the rush, taking due risk .. better puck mover with head high vision to spot outlets and passing ability to hit them .. will freeelance from the point using happy feet to find better angles for pucks on goal or for his decent shot .. committment to defense has made him more aware of his passing options up front .. gap control could be tighter .. doesn’t take away space from rushers quick enough allowing too much time to maneuver .. must change habit of holding his stick at his waist while defending the rush, not out in front to take away pass across, or even into rushers space to force them wide .. almost as if he’s looking for the big hit when defending, luring the rusher with space and pouncing on them with big frame .. will improve when he realizes not every hit has to be a home run and will benefit from the structured defense of the NHL.
Katshockey at mapleleafshotstove.com