The Chicago Blackhawks have three forward prospects absolutely tearing up the OHL right now, and the hottest of the three is Nick Lardis.
Lardis, the 67th overall pick (third round) in the 2023 NHL Draft, has a point in 10 of his last 11 games; he has a goal in seven of those 10 games. He scored two goals in 10 seconds of game time on Sunday to give him 12 on the season. He ranks fourth in the OHL with 80 shots on net and is tied for seventh in the OHL in goal scoring.
Gavin Hayes (11 goals in 16 games) is tied for ninth in the OHL and Martin Misiak (9 goals in 18 games) is tied for 19th in the league.
When you put Lardis’ production into some additional context it’s even more impressive. Brantford is currently in last place in the East Division and has scored 56 goals as a team. Lardis has personally accounted for 21 percent of the team’s total goals.
He’s been credited with at least four shots on net in 14 of his 17 games thus far this season.
Lardis was an interesting draft prospect early last year, scoring 12 goals in 36 games for the Peterborough Petes before he was traded to the then-Hamilton Bulldogs. After the trade, Lardis’ stock skyrocketed because he was unbelievable. He scored 25 goals with 21 assists in 33 regular season games with the Bulldogs.
Over the summer, Hockey Canada did not have on-ice workouts for prospects who were on the radar for the 2024 World Junior Championship tournament but did publish a list of players who were involved in meetings. Lardis was not among those who were involved; Blackhawks forward prospects Paul Ludwinski and Samuel Savoie (and defenseman Kevin Korchinski) were in those meetings. Unfortunately, Savoie won’t be available because of his leg injury. I’m interested to see if a few players moving on to the NHL and injuries like Savoie’s open a spot for Lardis on that team.
The Bulldogs are back in action against Sarnia on Wednesday night.