Okay, so maybe he didn’t use those exact words. But Kadri, the first round pick of the Maple Leafs in 2009, does have to improve his eating habits.
“The one thing Kadri has to improve is his eating habits,”said Eakins after putting the Marlies through the paces. “His body fat today is probably in the bottom three to five guys in our whole camp. That’s unacceptable. That’s the easiest part coming into camp is eating correctly and training correctly. I think he’s probably improved a little bit on the ice. His diet is not where it should be.”
To hear Kadri tell it, his body fat ratio is better than last year and he’s improving. “It definitely could have been a little better; it’s definitely not bad,” said Kadri. “The way I’m carrying myself on the ice, I feel stronger. My wingate is way better than it was last year. Even that body fat did drop down from last year. I’m still a young guy, I’m slowly learning how to be a pro and what types of food to put in my body.”
According to Eakins, Kadri isn’t the only offender.
“You’ll see guys, they’re young. They’re still in the junk-food mode and they’ll eat whatever they can,” said Eakins. “It’s just not Nazem Kadri, it’s just about every one of our young players. They come out of junior, they get on that bus and they have Snickers bars. Mom and dad aren’t looking over your shoulder any more. You’re a professional athlete. You have to look after what you’re putting in your body. You can put the high-octane gas in your car and it will go great. If you go urinate in your tank, your car is not going very far. It’s the same with your body. Put good fuel in, you’re going to go further. Put junk in, you’re done.”
Kadri, along with the likes of Jeff Skinner and Steven Stamkos, spend most of the summer working out with Gary Roberts. Roberts has an intense physical fitness and nutrition program during the off-season.
“There’s no way I could have gotten through these tests like I did (without Roberts’ help),” said Kadri. “It brought me a long way. For the most part, I did very well. I’m happy with where I am. I’m happy with my conditioning. My lower body feels strong. I just can’t wait to translate that into game form.”
A more complete evaluation of Kadri and his game shape will be made over the next couple of days at the Ricoh Coliseum.