Nazem Kadri Scouting Report by Gus Katsaros and Ryan Dadoun
A highly talented, determined and full octane player with relentless pursuit of the puck in the offensive zone. Skates with a wide stance, which benefits stability and lateral movement. Handles the puck at top speeds, can turn and dash through traffic without losing momentum, backing off defenders and able to make something out of nothing. Can be overzealous with the puck, holding it too long or attempting to skate through an entire team, getting stripped of the puck or steered into corners – a common event during many of his early NHL appearances. An adept passer/playmaker when looking for teammates with enough time and not use it as a last-ditch option. Fine tuning his decision making in this needed and would make him that much more dangerous. Kadri is underrated as a physical player who cares not for his own well being and rides on the verge of dirty play at times with his hits.Size is not an issue, but strength to handle battles one on one has been a concern to date. Defensive zone coverage and awareness is not an afterthought to Kadri, but he needs to learn to move his feet as much in retreat and defensive positioning assignments as he does in the offensive zone.
High end: Top six scoring option.
Comparisons: Daniel Briere, Ray Whitney, Jordan Eberle
Low end: Streaky offensive player who leaves you wanting more.
Comparisons: Brad Boyes, Radim Vrbata
– 2008 Memorial Cup Winner (Kitchener Rangers)
– Silver medal at 2009 World junior Championship
– 2009 OHL Second All Star Team
For the second straight season, Nazem Kadri bounced between the Marlies and Maple Leafs. He ended up with 40 points in 48 games in the AHL and another seven points in 21 NHL contests. The AHL selected him as the player of the month in November (12-6-12-18) with 18 points in 12 games. The seventh overall pick in 2008 had some impressive flashes with the Leafs, scoring three goals over a four-game stint while displaying chemistry with Tim Connolly and Clarke MacArthur. He was also a major part of the Marlies‘ playoff run until suffering a Grade 3 shoulder separation. The 22-year-old accelerates with ease and he doesn’t struggle altering skating paths on the ice. His speed and seamless transition offers elusiveness and it complements his knack for mixing things up. The seventh-overall pick is getting stronger with the puck and he displayed increased determination. Kadri’s typically not the biggest player on the ice, but he’s not easily intimidated. He’ll move into traffic when it suits his needs and he’s doing a better job of involving his teammates offensively. The London, Ontario native still has work to do in his own zone and he occasionally loses his positioning. His focus when he’s defending isn’t always there. He has been learning the duties of a winger and is developing a comfort with them. Ultimately, he’s showing an ability to adapt and succeed in either role. He’s ready to play in the NHL and should do just that this season.