FanPost

Nazem Kadri is a Bust... Or is He?

The mouth breathers (Authors edit) Hockey fans are out and while they can't knock the Leafs' record thus far they have instead switched to knocking our top prospect, Nazem Kadri. From the mainstream media (newspaper and televsion commentator alike), to bloggers, to your average Leafs fan on the street, people are saying things along the lines of: "Whats the deal with Kadri? If he doesn't do something, and I mean a big something, soon than I think thats it." or "Burke seems to be running out of patience with this kid." This is complete and utter nonsense, because Kadri is *young*.

Now I could show you that Kadri has produced fine relative to his draft class but that has been done already by Willis on Leafs Nation. Instead I will look at Burke's history with first rounders through his GM years in Vancouver, Anaheim, and Toronto (not including Hartford because he was only there one year).

The data set:

Vancouver

Picked by Burke

Started under Burke

Year

Player

Pick

Year

Player

Pick

1998

Bryan Allen

4th

1996

Josh Holden

12th

1999

Daniel Sedin

2nd

1999

Henrik Sedin

3rd

2000

Nathan Smith

23rd

2001

RJ Umberger

16th

2003

Ryan Kesler

23rd

Anaheim

Picked by Burke

Started under Burke

Year

Player

Pick

Year

Player

Pick

2005

Bobby Ryan

2nd

2003

Ryan Getzlaf

19th

2006

Mark Mitera

19th

2008

Corey Perry

28th

2007

Logan MacMilan

19th

2008

Jake Gardiner

17th

Toronto

Picked by Burke

Started under Burke

Year

Player

Pick

Year

Player

Pick

2009

Nazem Kadri

7th

2008

Jake Gardiner

17th

2011

Tyler Biggs

22nd

2008

Joe Colborne

16th

2011

Stuart Percy

25th

----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

To look at these players I looked at their production in their first NHL season by goals per game (GPG), points per game (PPG), and average time on ice per game (ATOI). For their rookie season, I noted how many years had past since their draft (ie RNH would be first this year and Hall would be second). Here are all the players (except for Biggs and Percy as they were drafted this year) sorted by how many seasons had passed between their draft and rookie year:

First Season

Goal Break out Season

Points Break Out Season

Notes

Year

Player

Pick

Age (as of Jan 1st)

Season After Draft

GP

GPG

PPG

ATOI

Age (as of Jan 1)

Season After Draft

Age (as of Jan 1)

Season After Draft

2003

Ryan Kesler

23rd

19

1st

28

0.07

0.18

10:42

26

8

24

6

He lost out on his second year in the NHL due to the lockout

1999

Henrik Sedin

3rd

20

2nd

82

0.11

0.35

13:31

Not a big goal scorer

25

7

(He broke out even more at 29, 11th year after draft)

2009

Nazem Kadri

7th

20

2nd

29

0.1

0.41

15:47

1999

Daniel Sedin

2nd

20

2nd

75

0.27

0.45

13:00

26

8

26

8

(He broke out even more (for points) at 29, 11th year after draft)

1998

Bryan Allen

4th

20

3rd

6

0

0

9:20

Became NHL regular at 23 (6 seasons after being drafted)

Became top 4 dman (<20 minutes the following season)

1996

Josh Holden

12th

21

3rd

30

0.07

0.2

12:44

Never happened

He never became an NHL regular (60 total NHL games)

2005

Bobby Ryan

2

20

3rd

23

0.22

0.43

11:16

21

4

21

4

While Bobby Ryan didn't even make the team to start his 4th year post draft, it was rumoured that he was threatening a trade if they did not bring him up AND that he was being kept down for cap reasons

2003

Corey Perry

28th

20

3rd

56

0.23

0.45

11:34

22

5

23

6

He had an even bigger break out last year (26 and 9th year post draft)

2003

Ryan Getzlaf

19th

20

3rd

57

0.25

0.68

12:35

20

3

22

5

His goal scoring has been consistent since his rookie season

2008

Joe Colborne

16th

21

3rd

1

0

1.00

18:41

Still a prospect

He's point per game! Wooo!

2008

Jake Gardiner

17th

21

4th

2

0

0

12:50

Still a prospect

2000

Nathan Smith

23rd

21

4th

2

0

0

5:16

Never happened

He never became an NHL regular (26 total NHL games)

2001

RJ Umberger

16th

23

5th

73

0.27

0.52

13:14

23

5

25

7

He did 3 years of NCAA hockey (2 years after being drafted) and then went to the Canucks intending to attempt to make the roster, but due to contract disputes sat out the season. He didn't enter the league under Burke. As well his goal breakout was at 2

2007

Logan MacMilan

19th

N/A

Never happened

Still hasn't made the NHL in his 5th year after being drafted and is now a Flames "prospect"

2006

Mark Mitera

19th

N/A

Never happened

Still hasn't made the NHL in his 6th year after being drafted and is now a Habs "prospect"

----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

So the first question is when did these guys make the NHL and how does Kadri compare?

Yhsbt_medium

via i.imgur.com

As you can see, Kadri (the red rectangle) had his rookie season pretty early, relative to the others. Burke usually waits longer before he brings these guys to the NHL. Similarly for age, only Ryan Kesler was younger than him in his rookie season.

----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

The next question is how does he compare in his rookie season production? Here are the GPG and PPGs of rookie seasons for the forwards in this list who made the NHL (minus Colborne and his one game):

Qxtvu_medium

via i.imgur.com

Pmtzq_medium

via i.imgur.com

As you can see Kadri's goal scoring is a tad low and his point scoring is middle of the pack. Considering he is one of the younger guys in the list I am very happy with that.

----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Finally, the most important question, when did these guys break out?

Goal Scoring

Year Drafted

Player

Pick

Breakout Year Age

Season after Draft

2005

Ryan Kesler

23rd

26

8

1999

Daniel Sedin

2nd

26

8

1996

Corey Perry

28th

22

5

2001

RJ Umberger

16th

23

5

2008

Bobby Ryan

2nd

21

4

2007

Ryan Getzlaf

19th

20

3

Average

23.00

5.50

Point Scoring

Year Drafted

Player

Pick

Breakout Year Age

Season after Draft

1999

Daniel Sedin

2nd

26

8

1998

Henrik Sedin

3rd

25

7

2001

RJ Umberger

16th

25

7

2005

Ryan Kesler

23rd

24

6

1996

Corey Perry

28th

23

6

2007

Ryan Getzlaf

19th

22

5

2008

Bobby Ryan

2nd

21

4

Average

23.71

6.14

As you can see most of these players didn't break out until 23-24 for either goal or point scoring in their 5th-7th season.

----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

So where does that leave us? Well Kadri had his rookie season as early, or earlier, than all but one first rounder Burke has ever dealt with (Kesler). Even so, his rookie season compares fine to the other forwards, with middle of the pack point scoring and slightly low goal scoring. Most importantly, the average forward on this list broke out for goals at 23 (5.5 seasons after being drafted) and at 23.71 (6.14 season after being drafted) for points. Further except for Getzlaf's goal scoring breakout year, all breakout years happened at 21 or older and 4th season post draft or later. Kadri, at 21 and in his 3rd season post draft, is doing fine developmentally and probably will *not* reach his full offensive potential for another couple years. We definitely should *not* be calling him a bust AND we shouldn't be concerned if he doesn't yet produce that much this year.

PensionPlanPuppets.com is a fan community that allows members to post their own thoughts and opinions on the Toronto Maple Leafs and hockey in general. These views and thoughts may not be shared by the editor of PensionPlanPuppets.com.

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