Why Not Kadri Down the Middle?

Why you no play center?

Kadri in the Middle - I Used to Assume That Would Be the Case

...funny thing is, I always thought Kadri playing in the middle was the plan when the Leafs drafted him. Set aside for the moment the up and down yo-yo string they’ve had him on the past two seasons. I never really envisioned how this has actually played out; that is, his playing on the wing. I pictured him from the get-go as a center. (Those of you who watched him develop as a junior, did he not play a lot of center under Hunter with the Knights in London? I wasn’t close to that situation so I may be off on this one.)

In any event, I honestly figured him as a center. Now, he certainly has puck skills and vision. His foot speed is OK at the NHL level, I guess. Has his quickness improved? He is working out with Gary Roberts this summer, and that seems to make a difference for just about every young player who takes advantage of that opportunity.

...

The question, guaranteed contracts aside, is this: where does Kadri fit? Is he a winger, or is he in fact best utilized as a center?

Head on over to VLM and give your two cents. Mine are after the jump.

I'll just make this very simple. I will present you with two different lineups and you tell me which is the stronger team.

Team 1

Lupul-JVR-Kessel

Kulemin-Grabovski-MacArthur

Third: Bozak, Connolly, Frattin, etc...

Team 2

Lupul-Kadri-Kessel

JVR-Grabbo-MacArthur

Third: Bozak, Kulemin, Connolly, Frattin, etc...

To me, the answer is clearly Team 2. I see JVR on Grabbo's line replacing Kulemin as adding more value than having him replace Bozak/Connolly/Kadri as Kessel's center. Having JVR in the middle with Kessel does little to push talent down the roster which has proven to be successful on team like Philadelphia and Pittsburgh. Just my two cents.

Links

Sabres, Lightnings Lead List of Potential New East Playoff Teams

Apparently the Leafs have a shot or something.

NHL Numbers Podcast

Shea Weber Special: Part 2

Nation Radio - July 21st Edition

Give a listen to talk of Weber, CBA negotiations, and more.

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