SUN Hockey Pool

J.T. a model roommate for Kadri

MIKE ZEISBERGER, SUN MEDIA

, Last Updated: 10:59 AM ET

When Brian Burke could not grapple the first overall pick away from the New York Islanders at the June entry draft, he knew his shot at John Tavares was gone.

As a result, Burke went for another London Knight, forward Nazem Kadri, who just happened to be Tavares' roommate during his final few months of junior last season.

In a perfect world, Kadri would have loved to face off against his ex-roomie tomorrow night when the Leafs take on Tavares' New York Islanders at the Air Canada Centre.

Instead, having been sent back to London for another season of junior in order to, among other things, bulk up his physique, Kadri has sat back and enjoyed watching the early success Tavares has produced at the NHL level.

And for all those doubters who figured Tavares would not live up to all the hype that has swirled around him for years, well, Kadri, always confident in Tavares' ability, could have predicted things would work out this well.

"I'm not surprised because, to me, Johnny was a pro before he ever stepped on the NHL ice," Kadri said this weekend.

"I got to room with him when he came here and I saw how he prepared himself for every game -- from the way he got dressed to after the game, making sure he took his shakes.

"He wanted it bad and he put himself in a position to succeed."

If any of those qualities rubbed off on Kadri while the two players were together in London, the Leafs brass will be more than pleased. Kadri entered play yesterday as the Knights' leading scorer with 11 goals and 11 assists in 20 games.


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