Nazem Kadri is looking good out there. The Colorado Avalanche forward put up another multi-point performance on Monday night and has gathered a lot of attention around the NHL. He is riding a nine-game point streak with 23 points in 15 games: that’s a 109-point pace over 82 games.
And he is doing it at a perfect time: he is set to become an unrestricted free agent in July 2022 and is making a case to earn him a great pay check on the open market.
That has to be one of the reasons behind the best start in his NHL career. However, head coach Jared Bednar revealed to Peter Baugh of The Athletic what he believes is the main reason why Kadri has improved so much this season.
“I don’t think it’s a coincidence that he’s putting up points and producing the way he is, because he’s playing much better defensively,” Bednar said.
“He’s such a smart player in support of the puck on the power play in the middle of the ice. It’s one of the reasons why we got him originally because he was doing that in Toronto,” he said. “He does so many things real well. It’s just smarts and work and puck distribution.”
And yes, he added:
“Right now his stick is magic.”
If he keeps going, the 31-year-old is setting himself up for what is most likely going to be the final opportunity to truly cash in on a long-term contract while in his prime.
Kadri’s career has spanned 683 games with the Toronto Maple Leafs and the Avalanche, but he’s never had a better start to a season. And he hopes to keep going, maybe to make sure he gets the best offers this summer.
“Hopefully I can keep that up,” Kadri said.