TORONTO– On Thursday the American Hockey League named Nazem Kadri the AHL Player of the Month after he scored 17 points in 12 games.
The 21 year old got off to a slow start when he was first re-assigned to the Marlies in late October, but in November he recorded a point in 10 of 12 games and had multi-point efforts in four, including a four-point night last Friday against the St. John’s IceCaps.
“I think I’m feeling good, especially the last few games. I’m focusing on the little things that are right,” he said on Tuesday after scoring two goals against Grand Rapids. “When I first came down I struggled a little bit. As things started clicking for me I started getting some more breathing space and a chance to create offence from my stick.”
The circle giving him the opportunity to create are the Marlies coaching staff of Dallas Eakins, Gord Dineen and Derek King; a crew Kadri is thankful to be playing for.
“The coaching staff are doing a great job. When I do turn the puck over or it bounces off a stick they’ll tell me what’s wrong and just to keep trying; kudos to them for giving me the confidence.”
Kadri follows up current Leafs centre man Joe Colborne, who won AHL Player of the Month for October. Colborne’s efforts earned him a call up so it’s likely Kadri’s play of late has put him back on Leafs radar for a potential roster spot with the Leafs when needed next.
He will look to continue his recent play this weekend when the Marlies play three games in three days, starting on Friday, in New York, against the Rochester Americans. Then, they will return home for games against the Houston Aeros and the St. John’s IceCaps.