|Born||October 6, 1990 |
London, Ontario, Canada
|Height||6 ft 0 in (1.83 m)|
|Weight||185 lb (84 kg; 13 st 3 lb)|
Toronto Maple Leafs
|NHL Draft||7th overall, 2009|
Toronto Maple Leafs
Nazem grew up playing minor hockey for the London Jr. Knights of the MHAO's AAA Pavilion League. He was a key member of MHAO championship teams at the Peewee, Bantam and Minor Midget levels before moving onto the Ontario Hockey League (OHL) in 2006–07.
He participated in the 2003 All-Ontario Peewee Championships in Markham, Ontario, Canada as well as the 2005 All-Ontario Bantam Championships in Thunder Bay.
Nazem began his OHL career with the Kitchener Rangers after being selected in the first round, 18th overall, of the 2006 OHL Priority Selection. During his second season in the OHL, he played 68 games, scoring 25 goals and adding 40 assists.
During that year's playoffs, he helped the Rangers to an OHL Championship and a berth in the Memorial Cup Final, where they lost to the Spokane Chiefs of the Western Hockey League (WHL).
After the 2007–08 season was complete, Nazem was traded by the Rangers to the London Knights, his hometown team, for a package of draft picks. He played in 56 games for the Knights in 2008–09, where he scored 25 goals and added 53 assists.
However, Nazem lost time during the 2008–09 season when he suffered from a broken jaw. He was selected to play for Team OHL in the ADT Canada Russia Challenge, but was unable to participate due to jaw injury. He was later invited to Canada's selection camp for the 2009 World Junior Championships, but did not make the final roster.
Additionally during the 2008–09 season, he was chosen to play in the OHL All-Star Classic, where he suited up for the Western Conference and scored a goal.
After the OHL season was complete, Nazem was drafted by the Toronto Maple Leafs in the first round, seventh overall, of the 2009 NHL Entry Draft. He later signed a three-year, entry-level contract with the club on July 6, 2009.
After being cut from the Maple Leafs, Nazem returned to play for the Knights in the OHL. He was selected to play for Team OHL in the 2009 Subway Super Series (renamed from the ADT Canada Russia Challenge). He was also selected to represent the Western Conference in the 2009–10 OHL All-Star Classic, his second appearance in the league's All-Star Game in as many seasons.
On March 30, 2010, Nazem was named the CHL Player of the Week after recording nine points (two goals and seven assists) in three games. The OHL named him the league's "Player of the Month" for April 2010, a month in which he recorded 26 points (nine goals and 17 assists) in ten games.
Toronto Maple Leafs
Nazem attended training camp with the Maple Leafs prior to the 2009–10 season. He played in six pre-season games with the club, in which he scored three goals and added two assists. Then-Toronto Head Coach Ron Wilson had said prior to training camp that he would need to be one of the team's top-six forwards to make the club; he was ultimately returned to the Knights prior to the start of the NHL regular season.
Due to injuries to forwards Christian Hanson and Fredrik Sjöström, Nazem was called up to the Maple Leafs under an emergency basis, making his NHL debut on February 8, 2010, against the San Jose Sharks. He did not register any points and finished with a −1 plus-minus rating. However, this was a one game-only call up, and he subsequently returned to the London Knights following the game.
Ron Wilson said Nazem will most likely be with the Leafs in the 2010–11 season, though this was in doubt after comments made by both Wilson and Maple Leafs General Manager Brian Burke during the pre-season, indicating he had not played to the level they expected and is "running out of time" to prove himself.
In addition, Burke was traditionally a strong supporter of rookies gaining experience at the American Hockey League (AHL) level prior to NHL careers.
Nazem was included in the Maple Leafs' last round of cuts, and was subsequently sent to the American Hockey League (AHL)'s Toronto Marlies for the start of the season.
However, on November 12, 2010, he was called up by the Maple Leafs, along with fellow prospect Keith Aulie. On November 16, 2010, he recorded his first NHL point against the Nashville Predators, assisting on a goal by Kris Versteeg.
Two days later, on November 18, 2010, Nazem recorded his first multi-point night with two assists in a game against the New Jersey Devils.
On March 19, 2011, Nazem scored his first career NHL goal against goaltender Tim Thomas of the Boston Bruins. He was named to the AHL All-Star Game in 2012.
Prior to the 2012–13 season, he began training under former NHL player and Maple Leaf Gary Roberts over the summer to gain muscle and "play more explosively."
On January 19, 2013, when NHL play resumed after a labour lock-out cancelled much of the first half of the scheduled regular season, Nazem made the starting roster for the Maple Leafs in their season opener against the Montreal Canadiens.
A month later, in a game against the Tampa Bay Lightning, Nazem had his first NHL fight with Tampa's Victor Hedman.
With the Leafs losing 4–1 late in the game, Hedman delivered a cross-check to the back of Nazem, who then confronted the 6'6 defenceman. Punches were then exchanged before teammates and officials broke up the fight.
On February 28, Nazem scored his first career hat-trick in a 5–4 win over the New York Islanders. On March 30, he then scored his second career hat-trick, and second of the season, in a 4–0 win over the Ottawa Senators. He would finish the season with 18 goals and 26 assists, finishing second only to Phil Kessel for the team lead in points and goals.
On May 4, Nazem notched his first Stanley Cup playoff point, recording an assist on a goal by Kessel after he sprung him on a breakaway. On May 13, he then scored his first playoff goal against the Boston Bruins in Game 7 during the third period.
On September 11, 2013, Kadri was signed by Toronto to a two-year, $5.8 million contract extension. On November 13, 2013, he delivered an elbow to the head of Minnesota Wild goaltender Niklas Backstrom. As a result, the NHL's Department of Player Safety handed Kadri a three-game suspension.
During the 2013–14 season, his first full 82-game season, Nazem set career highs in goals (20) and points (50). He was suspended twice during the 2014–15 season, the first internally by the organization for showing up late to a team practice; he received a three-game suspension.
A week later, Nazem was suspended again, this time by the NHL itself; he received four games for illegally checking Edmonton Oilers forward Matt Fraser in the head.
Despite these setbacks, he would go on to record 39 points in 73 games, leading all Toronto centres in goals. He was subsequently signed to a one-year, $4.1 million deal in the summer.
On April 1, 2016, Nazem was fined $5,000 by the NHL for his second and third diving infractions of the season. The first came March 12 against the Senators and the second March 21 against the Flames.
On April 4, 2016, Nazem was again suspended by the NHL after he delivered a cross-check to the head of Detroit Red Wings centre Luke Glendening. He received a four-game suspension for the incident, effectively ending his season, and as a repeat offender under the collective bargaining agreement he was also fined $200,000.
Despite these misdemeanors, his play throughout the season was strongly praised by Leafs managements, most notably head coach Mike Babcock and general manager Lou Lamoriello.
On top of this, Nazem was heavily praised for his penalty drawing abilities; although he was always complimented on this skill, it received much more media attention this season, with him setting a league leading best 49 penalties drawn during the season.
Additionally, Nazem led the Maple Leafs in various offensive categories, including points (45) and assist (28). In reward for his strong year, he was rewarded with a six-year, $27 million contract on April 13, 2016.
On January 23, 2017, Nazem scored his 100th career NHL goal against the Calgary Flames. During the Leafs cup run in the 2017 Stanley Cup playoffs, he played around 95 minutes of ice time throughout the series when the Leafs were at even strength to help push the series to 6 games. He ended the series with 2 points, a goal and an assist, in 6 games.
During the 2017–18 season, Nazem recorded his fourth career hat trick in a 6–3 win over the Columbus Blue Jackets on February 14, 2018. During the 2018 Stanley Cup playoffs against the Boston Bruins, he was suspended for three games for a hit on Tommy Wingels during Game 1.
During the 2019 Stanley Cup playoffs against the Boston Bruins, Nazem was suspended for the remainder of the first round of the playoffs for a cross-check on Jake DeBrusk during Game 2. The Leafs would end up losing the series in seven games.
On July 1, 2019, Nazem (along with Calle Rosen and a 3rd-round pick in the 2020 NHL Entry Draft) was traded to the Colorado Avalanche in exchange for [[Tyson Barrie], Alexander Kerfoot and a 6th-round pick in the 2020 NHL Entry Draft.
Regular season and playoffs
|2005–06||London Jr. Knights Min. Midget||MHAO||62||49||43||92||82||—||—||—||—||—|
|2009–10||Toronto Maple Leafs||NHL||1||0||0||0||0||—||—||—||—||—|
|2010–11||Toronto Maple Leafs||NHL||29||3||9||12||8||—||—||—||—||—|
|2011–12||Toronto Maple Leafs||NHL||21||5||2||7||8||—||—||—||—||—|
|2012–13||Toronto Maple Leafs||NHL||48||18||26||44||23||7||1||3||4||10|
|2013–14||Toronto Maple Leafs||NHL||78||20||30||50||67||—||—||—||—||—|
|2014–15||Toronto Maple Leafs||NHL||73||18||21||39||28||—||—||—||—||—|
|2015–16||Toronto Maple Leafs||NHL||76||17||28||45||73||—||—||—||—||—|
|2016–17||Toronto Maple Leafs||NHL||82||32||29||61||95||6||1||1||2||8|
|2017–18||Toronto Maple Leafs||NHL||80||32||23||55||42||4||0||2||2||19|
|2018–19||Toronto Maple Leafs||NHL||73||16||28||44||43||2||1||1||2||19|
Awards & Achievements
- 2010 OHL Second All-Star Team
- 2013 THN Cam Neely Award (Breakout Player)
|Competitor for Canada|
|World Junior Championships|
|Silver||2010 Saskatoon||Ice hockey|
Nazem played for Team Ontario at the 2007 Canada Winter Games, where they won a gold medal.
He first represented Canada at the 2007 Ivan Hlinka Memorial Tournament where the team finished fourth.
Nazem was invited to Team Canada's selection camp for the 2010 World Junior Championships held in Regina, Saskatchewan.
After being cut in 2009, he was selected to represent Canada in 2010. In Canada's preliminary round game against the Americans, Nazem was one of the players selected for the shootout, and he scored on goaltender Jack Campbell to help Canada secure the victory.
During the tournament, Nazem scored 3 goals and added 5 assists. During the tournament, he attracted attention for his refusal to shake hands with Switzerland's Nino Niederreiter after their semi-final game.
Nazem did not elaborate on the specifics of what caused his refusal, but it did absolve Niederreiter of using an ethnic slur: "Obviously, in big games like that, guys tend to lose their composure a bit, but I didn't take offence to anything he said. It was just that I felt like I didn't have to shake his hand."
He later had second thoughts about his refusal: "I regret it a little bit."
During the gold medal game against the United States, Nazem had two assists including one on Jordan Eberle's tying goal with 1 minute and 35 seconds left.
Canada lost the game in overtime, leaving Nazem and his teammates with the silver medal.
Nazem began skating when he was two years old, began playing organized hockey when he was four, and was suiting up for elite level teams when he was six years old.
His parents are Sam and Sue, and he has four sisters: Yasmine, Reema, Sabrine, and Rayanne.
Nazem is named after his grandfather. His father, Sam moved to Canada from the small town of Kfar Danis, Lebanon.
Nazem is Muslim and says he has never had any problems on the ice with "trash talk" about his religious beliefs. He was the first Muslim drafted by the Maple Leafs.
During his high school years, he served as a member of his school's Muslim Student Association.
Nazem is the fourth player of Lebanese descent to play in the NHL, following in the footsteps of John Hanna, Alain Nasreddine and Ed Hatoum.
He grew up as a Montreal Canadiens fan under the influence of his father, who was drawn to the team following his immigration to Canada.
In July of 2018, Nazem married his fiancé Ashley Cave at Casa Loma.