Name: James Hardie
League: OHL (Ontario Hockey League)
Team: Mississauga Steelheads
Age/DOB: 18-years-old, January 18th, 2002
Birthplace: Innisfil, Ontario, Canada
Weight: 176 lbs
Potential Draft Round: second-third Round
NHL Potential: Top-six forward
James Hardie put on a show during the 2019-20 OHL season and made himself quite hard to ignore. He scored 34 goals for the Steelheads, beating out some of the top prospects in the 2020 draft class in scoring.
Perhaps one of the most noticeable elements of Hardie’s game is his ability to identify scoring chances. Hardie’s game is all about his positioning and shooting abilities. He always seems to be in the perfect position to receive a pass and snipe a shot past the goaltender. In front of the net, Hardie is great at getting open in front of the net and converting on rebounds.
He has a knack for finding breakaway chances and does a great job at identifying them while not being a liability for his team by being out of position. When alone against a goaltender, Hardie does not always use a bunch of moves to fake out netminders to score goals. He uses his quick release and incredible accuracy to get his team on the board. While Hardie does have plenty of moves in his arsenal, he scores the majority of his goals due to his vision for identifying scoring chances and his great shot.
Hardie’s wrist shot his fast and strong, but even more important is his accuracy that results in his team-leading numbers. He can score short-side with incredible accuracy and does not need a lot of time to get the puck off of his stick. Once he receives the puck, whether from a pass by his teammates, a rebound, or a bad bounce, Hardie wastes no time getting the puck off of his stick and does so with a high degree of accuracy.
He knows where he wants to shoot the puck before it is even on his stick. Hardie plays a key role on the power play as well. He is constantly being passed to in order to get pucks on net which he does with some big one-timer shots.
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