Sunday, January 20, 2013
Pivotal year for Kadri?
By Luke Lapinski
Speculation throughout the offseason focused on a potential Roberto Luongo-to-Toronto deal. And the most prevalent rumors out there suggested the Vancouver Canucks wanted a package involving Nazem Kadri and Tyler Bozak in exchange for the 33-year old netminder.
The deal never materialized though, reportedly because the Maple Leafs didn't want to part ways with Kadri -- arguably the top prospect in their system -- and value Bozak greatly as well. If last night is any indication, Toronto's front office has to be pretty pleased with the decision thus far. Kadri scored less than five minutes into the season opener against Montreal, then Bozak sealed the deal with the eventual game winner in the second period. Meanwhile, Ben Scrivens looked solid in goal, turning aside 21 of 22 shots in the victory.
Ironically, Luongo was pressed into duty last night for Vancouver when Cory Schneider struggled. But the real story here for Leafs fans is Kadri. This is a pivotal season for the former first round pick (No. 7 overall in 2009). At 22 years of age, he's felt the weight of great expectations for hungry fans in Toronto since he was drafted. But he's never really gotten consistent playing time in the NHL. But moves were made in the last week that essentially opened a roster spot for him if he can seize the opportunity. One game in at least, he's making the most of it.
Pierre LeBrunSomething to prove
"For Kadri, this is a big season in his fledgling career. After failing to stick with the big club last season, the first-round pick wants to stay up permanently. The Leafs' brass feels so strongly about his potential that sources indicate Nonis has told the Vancouver Canucksthere’s no way he would ever be part of a Roberto Luongo trade."