Nazem Kadri Shouldn't Be Used as Trade Bait for the Toronto Maple Leafs

Evan LeBlancCorrespondent IIJanuary 31, 2012

ST PAUL, MN - JUNE 25:  General manager Brian Burke of the Toronto Maple Leafs answers questions after day two of the 2011 NHL Entry Draft at Xcel Energy Center on June 25, 2011 in St Paul, Minnesota.  (Photo by Bruce Bennett/Getty Images)
Bruce Bennett/Getty Images

I have been hearing a lot recently about Nazem Kadri being placed on the trading block by Brian Burke, and I have to say that I am completely against the idea.

Kadri is a promising looking young player who has not quite had the success at the NHL level that would warrant his being an integral part of the Maple Leafs roster. But that does not necessarily mean that he should be used to bring in a player from another team that may or may not make the difference needed to secure a playoff spot.

When you are using someone as trade bait, you have to consider what the player's value to another team would be, which is mostly based on NHL performance. There are very few prospects that scouts are so sold on that they would be willing to go after as a potential piece in a trade.

As the seventh overall pick and a Leaf, Kadri's story is probably well know to other GMs in the league. I have to say that if you look at Kadri's performance in the NHL, he certainly has not been able to replicate his point-a-game pace from the AHL.

Kadri has seven goals and 11 assists in 48 games in his young NHL career. There are too many AHL player-of-the-year candidates who have failed to pan out in the NHL, and potential trade partners know that Kadri has not played quite as well as expected.

Kadri is only 21 years old. And although that is too young to say that the jury is out on him, that is not too young for other GMs to expect him to have shown more at the NHL level.

That is why Toronto should hang on to him. He will only get better. His minimal trade value at this point would mean that he would be thrown in to slightly sweeten a deal for a non-elite player. It is better to be patient. If he does develop into a star player, they will have given him up for very little.

Too many trade-deadline deals are made by GMs who are looking to improve their teams for a playoff run. But you have to look at who is really available to be picked up as well.

Most of us wouldn't have as much of a problem with Kadri being traded to pick up Jerome Iginla, but I don't think that is what we are looking at here.