One of the players that the Canadiens may target with the 26th overall pick in the upcoming NHL Entry Draft is Jansen Harkins, a centre for the Prince George Cougars of the WHL. Jansen is one of the prospects who comes from a hockey family as he is the son of former NHL’er Todd Harkins, the current GM of the Cougars.
DOB: May 23, 1997 – North Vancouver, BC
Height: 6′ 1.25"
Weight: 182 lbs
CSB: 15 (North American Skaters)
Hockey Prospect: 34
Future Considerations: 25
Hockey News: 21
The first thing that often gets noticed when watching Harkins play is his high hockey IQ. Harkins makes smart decisions with the puck and makes good use of his teammates on the ice. He is equally smart without the puck and puts himself in good positions to create offence as well a play solid defence. Harkins is a well-rounded player with a strong work ethic who plays a 200-foot game. Harkins has a good offensive skill set, his combination of size and hands allow him to protect the puck and use his excellent vision to make plays for his teammates. Although he is more of a playmaker than a goal scorer he does have a decent shot and does not hesitate to use it. Harkins uses his excellent hockey IQ to move the puck quickly and can create offence with how fast he thinks the game. He is a strong skater but as is common with prospects he would benefit with improvement.
Some of the other areas of his game that Harkins needs to improve in order to maximize his potential at the next level are his strength and speed but these are very common areas of need for young players. Harkins has a good frame but will definitely benefit from adding muscle. Although I think his offence may be somewhat underrated due to his commitment to the defensive side of the game, Harkins does not seem to have the offensive dynamism that would make him truly elite.
As far as projecting Harkins at the NHL level, his ceiling would be that of a strong two-way centre, possibly a bigger version of a player like Tomas Plekanec if all goes well. At the very least, Harkins does seem to possess enough intangibles that he should at very least be able to fill the role of a third line checking centre.
Harkins has two more years of WHL eligibility before he can make the jump to the pros. He’s likely going to need to spend some time in the AHL before making the jump to the big league so he’s likely 3-4 years away from making a consistent impact in the NHL.