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Getting To Know: Nazem Kadri

Forward was acquired by the Avalanche in the offseason

by Kate Reed / ColoradoAvalanche.com

Nazem Kadri joined the Colorado Avalanche on July 1 in a trade with the Toronto Maple Leafs that also sent Calle Rosen and a 2020 third-round draft pick to Denver.

The 28-year-old from London, Ontario, was originally drafted in 2009 by Toronto (seventh overall) and had spent much of the past 10 seasons with the club. He enters this year with 357 career points (161 goals, 196 assists) in 561 NHL games. Kadri has also participated in the Stanley Cup Playoffs four times, totaling 10 points (three goals, seven assists) in 19 contests.

Nazem Kadri joined the Colorado Avalanche on July 1 in a trade with the Toronto Maple Leafs that also sent Calle Rosen and a 2020 third-round draft pick to Denver.

The 28-year-old from London, Ontario, was originally drafted in 2009 by Toronto (seventh overall) and had spent much of the past 10 seasons with the club. He enters this year with 357 career points (161 goals, 196 assists) in 561 NHL games. Kadri has also participated in the Stanley Cup Playoffs four times, totaling 10 points (three goals, seven assists) in 19 contests.

Last season marked the 6-foot, 192-pound center's fourth straight year with 40 points or more in a campaign, which included back-to-back, 30-plus-goal seasons in 2016-17 (32 goals, 29 assists) and 2017-18 (32 goals, 23 assists).

Kadri recently chatted with ColoradoAvalanche.com to discuss his time in Toronto and preparing for his first season with the Avalanche.

How were your first practices with the Avs?

"It was good. Definitely a little bit of a change, but I've been able to adjust pretty well. The guys are super welcoming, and we're having fun so far."

This is your first year with the Avalanche, what are your goals for this season?

"Have a good season. Obviously, first and foremost, to be able to produce, and more importantly, win. I think we are able to generate some solid chemistry early and that's going to translate to on-ice success, so I'm looking forward to it."

Where were you when you found out you were being traded to the Avs and what was your initial reaction?

"I was back home in Toronto, just chilling at my house and got the call. I had a feeling that it might be happening, so I was pretty prepared, but you're still shocked at the same time. It was a little overwhelming, it hasn't happened too much in my career. Now that I'm here in Colorado, I'm super comfortable. The guys have been super great, and it's a new start for me."

What was the hardest part about leaving Toronto?

"Just leaving behind some good friends and being familiar with the whole situation, living at home, working out at the same facility for years. For me, that was a bit of a change, having to switch that up. I'm a man of routine, and I've just got to find a new one."

How do you think your style of play will fit into this Colorado team?

"I think it will fit in well. I try to pride myself on being a complete player and playing both ends of the ice, being physical and skilled at the same time. I think I'll be an easy fit, and the guys I'm going to be playing with are no slouches either. I'm looking forward to generating some chemistry and doing some big things on the ice."

How has it been creating new relationships with your Avalanche teammates?

"It's been awesome. Everyone has been super supportive and welcoming. They're constantly just asking if I need anything. As a player coming into a new organization, that's what you want to feel. You want to feel wanted and these guys want me, so I'm going to do everything I can for them."

Nathan MacKinnon said that you have an "offensive upside that the league hasn't seen yet." What's your reaction to that?

"I agree. I've produced at a pretty high level offensively for many years now, but like Nate said, I think there is another level that I can get to. Playing with guys like him is going to allow me to have that opportunity, and I'm going to be ready for it."

What is the significance of No. 91 on your jersey?

"I just wore it in junior. I liked the number; I always liked the 1-9 or the single 9 variation. I've worn it all my life and had some good years in junior with it. I figured it was a new slate and time for a new number."

Video: Nazem Kadri on joining the Colorado Avalanche

What are you most excited about for this season with the Avs?

"Winning. I mean that's really what I want to do, it's what I came here for. I feel like we've got the ability, the staff and the personnel to do that, so we're just going to build throughout the year. It's not always going to be the way you draw it up, but we're going to find ways."

What have you found to be different so far in Colorado?

"It's much more laid back, less hectic. It can be a bit of a crazy down there (in Toronto) sometimes, and it's all I've ever known. That's really my only perspective of the league, so coming here it's just a lot more laid back and relaxed. You can just go about your business."

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