Teammates will do almost anything to help each other out, but Leafs prospect Nazem Kadri is doing so in a painful way. Kadri will be out for up to a month with a knee sprain suffered against Ottawa on Tuesday night. The 2009 first round pick was looking to break out this season as a full-time starter for Toronto but now that potential breakout will be put on hold.
On the flip side of that, Kadri’s knee injury opens the door for new Leafs prospect Matt Frattin to show he can cut it in the NHL. Frattin is the Hobey Baker Award finalist from North Dakota who signed with Toronto after completing play in the NCAA back in the spring. Frattin was an electric goal scorer for the Fighting Sioux but in Toronto he’ll get to be a net-crashing forward on the third or fourth line.
It’s an unfortunate setback for Kadri as Leafs fans have been hoping to see him get his chance to fully bust out on a nightly basis in the NHL, but it’s a tremendous opportunity for Frattin to show what he’s got against NHL competition. At 23 years-old after spending all four years at North Dakota, he’s a rookie but an older, more experienced one.