Reid Gardiner THW Close-Up
Date of Birth: January 19, 1996
Place of Birth: Humboldt, SK
Ht: 5’11” Wt: 185 lbs
NHL Draft Eligibility: 2014
Numbers aren’t everything. Some in hockey circles rightly argue that stats in hockey – even ones like goals and assists – are fairly meaningless. Reid Gardiner would likely argue that the main statistic that should matter to NHL scouts and general managers come the 2014 NHL Draft should be wins. And on a team that didn’t boast a lot of fire-power offensively, the Prince Albert Raiders won more games than they lost and made the playoffs in the WHL’s ultra-competitive Eastern Conference.
Now, Gardiner contributed to that effort in a few important ways. He was a productive offensive player early in the season, putting up 34 points in the first 37 games of the WHL season. However, his production tailed off, with just 10 points in the remaining 33 games. However, he remained one of the Raiders’ most reliable two-way players: his minus-8 rating over the last half of the season isn’t bad for Prince Albert, and he elevated his play in March with the playoffs on the line. The result? Five points, a plus-five, and the Raiders went 6-2-0 and made the playoffs over a tie-breaker win against Red Deer.
In a nutshell: Gardiner is a strong two-way player who showed some strong offensive upside before Christmas. When his offense dried up, he remained a strong two-way player with strong hockey instincts. And when his team’s season was on the line, he was one of the Raiders’ on-ice leaders and best players. His lack of showy offensive numbers may cause him to fall on the draft board, but at worst he could be a useful complementary asset at the professional level. And the early part of the year perhaps hinted, he may be even better than that.
“Among Gardiner’s enticing attributes, his hockey IQ and strong two-way game seem to stand out the most. The Humboldt, Sask., native has made a reputation for having a knack for reading and reacting to plays well while playing a 200-foot game.”
–Kelly Friesen, Buzzing the Net
Gardiner played for Team Western Canada at the World U-17 Challenge, where he served as an alternate captain.
Risk 1/5, Reward 3.5/5
Third or fourth line center.
- Strong work ethic.
- Good skater.
- Strong hockey IQ.
Flaws/Aspects He Needs To Work On:
- Could add a bit of muscle and physicality to his game to compete at next level.
- Offensive game is coming along, but execution and consistency need to improve.
Fantasy Hockey Potential:
Offensive 7.5/10, Defensive 8/10
NHL Player(s) Comparison:
John Mitchell or Tommy Wingels.
When He’ll Go In June:
Gardiner could go anywhere from the second to fourth rounds.
Ryan Pike has covered the Calgary Flames and the NHL Draft extensively since 2010 as a Senior Writer for The Hockey Writers and Senior Contributing Editor of FlamesNation.ca. A member of the Professional Hockey Writers Association, he lives in Calgary.