Mike Babcock claims Nazem Kadri is 'way better' than expected
Nazem Kadri has been a fascinating player in the NHL this season in that he ranks third in the league with 81 shots on goal but has scored just one goal so far this season. That's an incredibly unlucky shooting percentage of 1.2 percent, and Kadri is bound to be frustrated by the low production.
But Toronto Maple Leafs coach Mike Babcock is anything but frustrated with his forward. In fact, Babcock heaped praise on Kadri in an interview with the Canadian Press.
"This is my two cents on Naz: He's been, in my opinion, the best forward on our team," Babcock told Stephen Whyno. "He competes every night, he's in on all the chances, he generates a ton. He's a way better player than I expected."
This season is a very important year for the 25-year-old Kadri, who was suspended by the Leafs last March for his behavior off the ice. Many believe the Leafs brass want Kadri to prove he can be more mature off the ice and more effective on the ice, and that belief is supported by Kadri's current contract. Kadri was given a one-year, $4.1 million deal during the offseason which shows the organization believes he can contribute but wants to see him do so consistently before committing to him in the long term.
(h/t The Score)