You might think this is a very dumb question. After all, how would a player like Peter Holland be anywhere near the level of a player like Nazem Kadri. However, there is a lot of evidence that they might not be all that different.
In the 2009 NHL Draft, Kadri was drafted 7th overall by the Toronto Maple Leafs. Eight picks later, Holland was taken 15th overall by the Anaheim Ducks. Kadri was vaunted as a high-end prospect that could make the Leafs within a year or two. Holland was buried beneath a lot of depth at the center position and the Ducks didn’t want to waste his offensive talent on the third or fourth line.
Now that they are both members of the Maple Leaf roster, Kadri is struggling to produce offense on the second line and Holland has proven to be a reliable player when he’s given the chance on the top two lines. Having three goals in two games for the Toronto Marlies, a team he’d never played for before, also showed his offensive acumen.
Kadri has been shrouded in trade rumors for nearly the entire season. Holland arrived in a trade when the Leafs were battered by injuries down the middle. With Dave Bolland hopefully returning to the lineup just after the Olympic break, the Leafs will be forced to make a choice.
They could just send Holland back to the Marlies, but if you were the Leafs, would you want to give up a second-round pick for someone who spends a lot of his time in the AHL?
When Bolland returns, this situation will compound itself even more. The Leafs will have to choose between Kadri and Holland.
So if you were the Leafs…