It was supposed to be a renaissance summer for Toronto Maple Leafs prospect Nazem Kadri, who has been chastised by the relentless Toronto hockey media since the time he was drafted in 2009.
After years of negativity aimed at the young, talented center, Kadri took it upon himself to train with fitness guru and ex-Toronto Maple Leaf Gary Roberts all summer in an effort to bulk up and become more of a physical presence when he’s on the ice.
While no one has ever questioned Kadri’s natural offensive abilities (he may have some of the best hands in professional hockey today), his defensive accountability, size and ego have always been a cause for concern.
Working with Roberts this summer was supposed to rectify any problems Kadri was having with fitness.
Leafs fans across the continent were excited to see the results of a rigorous and disciplined summer.
Unfortunately, Kadri has let those fans all down.
According to an article published just a few hours ago by TSN’s Jonas Siegel, Kadri has fallen flat on his promise to bulk up and be more prepared physically for the 2012-2013 season.
Toronto Marlies head coach Dallas Eakins had this to say about Kadri, regarding his physical shape entering training camp, “His body fat today is probably in the bottom three to five guys in our whole camp and that’s unacceptable”.
It appears as though Kadri wasn’t as disciplined as we had all hoped this summer.
In the same report, Siegel notes that Kadri was also put to the test in a series of on-ice assessments in a heat with fellow prospects Jerry D’Amigo and Nicolas Deschamps, in which he was “…lagging far behind” according to Siegel.
Though Kadri may feel like he’s in better shape than he has been in the past, the results still aren’t quite where the Maple Leafs organization and their fans expected them to be.
Hopefully during this upcoming season Kadri can prove that he is, indeed, committed to becoming an integral and indispensable part of this organization.