Go 4-0 through the preliminary round, play easy opponents on the way for a berth to the World Junior final against a classic opponent on home ice? Nazem Kadri knows that feeling, for sure, though he’d like to forget certain parts about what happened next.
Kadri had 8 points in his 6 games in the tournament, which incredibly was only good enough for fifth in team scoring.
As mentioned, Canada went 4-0 in the preliminary round, then defeated Switzerland 6-1 in the semifinal game for a relatively simple path. Canada then faced the US in the finals, who they defeated 5-4 in a shootout on New Years’ Eve. The rematch was a game for the ages, it didn’t go in Canada’s favour. Canada fell behind 5-3 in the third period, before two late goals in the final three minutes from Jordan Eberle tied it up. Kadri set up the game-tying goal for his final point of the tournament. In Overtime, John Carlson broke the tie, giving USA the victory.
Jordan Eberle earned tournament MVP. Taylor Hall, Ryan Ellis, Adam Henrique, Travis Hamonic and Brayden Schenn were on the team. The goaltending tandem featured Martin Jones and Jake Allen, who are both looking to emerge as “more than a good backup” in the NHL.
The scouts’ take:
Kadri had been taken that spring in the draft, 7th overall of course to the Leafs. Hockeysfuture.com notes: “Kadri is a highly skilled forward who can make plays at a whim in the offensive zone. He’s fearless on the ice which compensates for his small frame. While there are questions surrounding his game-to-game compete level (seriously, it says that) and some of his decision making, his positives outweigh those negatives.” Kadri’s definitely shown his potential as a top flight-centre in the NHL, though it’s unkown if he’ll get enough ice time to show his true skillset on a first-line role for an extended period of time.
In his own words and photos, here are his memories from the tournament: