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Bust Prospects: Waiting for Nazem

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Claus Andersen - Getty Images

Drafted 7th overall in 2009 Nazem Kadri has yet to make himself an every day NHLer. Coming in to 2012-13 it's unclear where he fits into a Leafs lineup that includes Phil Kessel, Joffrey Lupul, James van Riemsdyk, Mikhail Grabovski, Clarke MacArthur and Nikolai Kulemin.

Every Leafs fan remembers the end of that season when Boyd Devereaux scored a hat trick to beat the Senators and drop the Leafs from drafting 5th to 7th. It's why we missed out on Brayden Schenn and ended with Nazem Kadri.

Thank god Nazem Kadri is working out with Gary Roberts this year; he doesn't put up points because he's not strong enough on the puck. He needs to get bigger like Brayden Schenn.

Brayden Schenn isn't a bust prospect, he's the best prospect in hockey. But here's the thing; previously I've talked about how Kadri and Schenn's junior NHLe numbers were identical with a slight edge to Kadri. If you want advanced stats they look something like this between the two youngsters:

Corsi ON Corsi Rel QoC
Kadri 2.32 -0.68
Schenn 2.06 -2.32

This looks like a landslide for Kadri for a few reasons. First off he wins the competition heads up; he does better against harder comp. Some people will ask why I didn't use Corsi Rel here. The simple reason is that the Leafs' corsi is so bad it inflates anyone with a normal number to look like Superman.

Think of it this way: if the guys around Brayden Schenn are better at driving play than the Leafs then using Corsi Rel wouldn't paint a clear picture of what's happening here. To wit Kadri's Corsi Rel is 10.9 (!) to Brayden Schenn's -2.6 (oof).

In terms of scoring Nazem Kadri has a career 0.37ppg to Brayden Schenn's 0.32ppg. Kadri's ATOI is about 10% higher but that only explains about half the difference.

In terms of even strength scoring per 60 minutes this year, Kadri scored six points in 263.5 minutes, compared to Schenn's 13 points in 666 minutes:

Kadri 1.37
Schenn 1.17

There's a lot of hand wringing among Leafs fans that Kadri's off ice issues (lack of commitment, lack of fitness) are holding him down while people pat Brayden Schenn on the back for being a great young stud. Short of saying "ignore everything that's happened Brayden Schenn is magically better" it's pretty clear these are roughly equivalent young players... with a slight edge to Kadri.