Nazem Kadri Named AHL Player Of The Month
Just when you thought Nazem Kadri was all but forgotten in Toronto the London, Ontario native put together an excellent November with the Maple Leafs AHL affiliate Toronto Marlies, culminating in player of the month honors.
A former first round draft pick (seventh overall 2009 NHL Entry Draft), Kadri has struggled to make the big club. Management has always maintained they believe in Kadri, but have also made it very clear that until Kadri embraces the idea of playing a 200 foot game, he will remain in the minors.
Kadri scored six goals and 11 assists in November for a total of 17 points in 12 games. Kadri’s inspired play has the Marlies in first place in the North Division, which is a testament to his embracing a two-way game.
Centre Joe Colborne (currently playing with the Maple Leafs) received player of the month honors for October when he registered eight goals and eight assists for a total of 16 points.
With back-to-back player of the month’s honors going to Marlie players, it appears as if Toronto Maple Leafs general manager has the big club’s depth in order, which has paid huge dividends this season.
Joey Crabb, Ben Scrivens, Jay Rosehill, Keith Aulie and Joe Colborne have all been called up from the Marlies to play with the Maple Leafs with varying degrees of success. Crabb and Scrivens played huge roles in keeping the Maple Leafs on track despite a number of key injuries to players on the Maple Leafs roster.
With so many current Maple Leafs playing so well and the substitutes contributing solid minutes it appears as if Kadri will remain on the farm for most of the season. That said, Maple Leafs head coach Ron Wilson and GM Brian Burke are known for rewarding hard work, so if Kadri keeps it up, he could be rewarded with a call up before long.
Kadri split the 2010-11 season with the Marlies and Maple Leafs, registering 17 goals and 24 assists for a total of 41 points through 44 games with the Marlies, while posting three goals and nine assists through 29 games with the Maple Leafs. Kadri managed to get into three games with the Maple Leafs this season, registering one assists before being sent to the AHL to play with the Marlies.
In the end, Kadri selection as player of the month is another shot in the arm for an organization that is clearly on the right track for the first time in what feels like an eternity for the Leafs Nation.
Until next time,