Morning Mashup: Q & A with Nazem Kadri


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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 some 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. I’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? You’re a natural centerman so I’m guessing your first reaction was “This is not ideal”?

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 that’s all part of maturing as a young hockey player. I think it’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 I’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 I’m trying to turn that fat into muscle and get stronger in my lower body. Hopefully, I’ll be a lot more explosive this year.

Q: What’s it like to develop as a young hockey player, a Maple Leafs prospect? When I think about you getting sent down last year it’s like front page headlines in newspapers, you kind of have to grow up in front of everybody under this big spotlight.

A: It’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, that’s what’s going to make me a pro, make me stick in the National Hockey League, if that’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 it’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 I’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. We’re pretty young, we’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.


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