|5’11”||165||July 8, 2005||RW||L||6th 2021||27 NA||CANADA|
Nick Lardis of the Hamilton Bulldogs has been one of the biggest risers on NHL Central Scouting’s draft lists and rightfully so. Ranked 96th among North American skaters on their mid term rankings, Lardis appeared at number 27 on their final list. He was the benefactor of a January 7th trade from the Peterborough Petes to the Bulldogs.
Lardis was the 6th overall pick at the 2021 OHL Priority Selection by the Petes. He would finish the campaign with 18 goals and 19 assists – not bad for a rookie. He got off to a good start this season but it wasn’t until the trade that he exploded. He more than doubled his production in the second half with Hamilton.
Lardis is now a solid second round pick on most rankings and a strong showing at the World Junior Championships Under-18 where he already has 3 goals in 2 games could potentially see some teams liking him in the very late first round.
The biggest difference after the trade is Lardis turned from complimentary piece to a driver in Hamilton. Because of his size, skating is key to Lardis’ game. At the CHL/NHL Top Prospects game fitness testing, Lardis ranked near the top in several categories: 5th in 30-meter backwards skate, 5th in weave agility, first in weave agility with the puck, 5th in transition ability, 2nd in transition ability with the puck, 1st in reaction ability and 4th in reaction ability with the puck. He finished at the top of the overall list in on-ice testing.
Lardis is one of the better skaters in the draft class, but he also brings a lot of energy with it. He gets on the forecheck quickly, can cause havoc and create turnovers and he can make plays once he gains possession. He’s a north-south player he uses his speed and energy to perfection.
Of course, there are things Lardis needs to work on. He’s going to have to add a lot of bulk and strength onto his frame and he’s going to have to bring the same intensity and energy to the defensive side of the puck.