To me, the truly eye-opening nature of Nazem Kadri’s numbers at this point of the Avalanche season is the company they place him among.
After he scored his 18th goal Sunday night in the 4-1 victory over the Sabres at Ball Arena, his 59 points put him third in NHL scoring.
Kadri, 31, already is closing in on his best points season, the 61 he had in 2016-17. He’s also done it mostly centering the second line. Injuries to the top line — Mikko Rantanen, Nathan MacKinnon and Gabe Landeskog — have led to Kadri moving up at times, but generally Jared Bednar has chosen to avoid messing with the chemistry too much. Regardless, Kadri has continued to pile up the points.
He’s behind only Jonathan Huberdeau of Florida (62) and Leon Draisaitl of Edmonton (61); and just ahead of Alex Ovechkin of Washington and Connor McDavid of Edmonton (both 58), plus Rantanen (53).
That’s an elite group. Plus, Kadri — who Monday was named the NHL’s No. 1 star for the week of January 24-30 — even missed three games with injuries in December.
I asked him after the game Sunday if going into the season, he could even dream about having a year like this one.