Jordan Harris – Leaving A Good Impression

By JD Lagrange – Fans and media like focussing on the negative when it comes to Trevor Timmins and Marc Bergevin. But the truth is that since the summer of 2018, the Reset as they called it, the two men have done a very good job at drafting. Bergevin had also revamped the scouting and focussed more on player development. That summer, one of their selections was a defenseman by the name of Jordan Harris, whom they picked in the third round, 71st overall, at the 2018 NHL Draft.

Scouting reports sold him to us as a defenseman who has very good mobility and puck-moving savvy. It was said of him that he thinks the game well and can carry the play. We were told that he is also adept at quarterbacking the power play and could be an offensive producer. Harris was said to be a good skater who works his edges well. He makes a good first pass and walks the blue line well in order to open shooting and passing lanes. Standing at 5-foot, 11-inches and 179 lbs, he will need to bulk up to sustain the pace at the NHL level.

Solid debuts

Fresh off signing his first professional contract on March 26th, Harris has since joined the Canadiens. So far, the Haverhill, MA native has appeared in five games for the Habs. He has yet to record a point and he has a respectable differential of minus -1. It’s respectable as off the group of defensemen having played three games or more, only Joel Edmundson (+1) has a better differential. Harris has averaged just over 16 minutes of ice time per game.

There are a few aspects that jump out when analyzing Harris’ NHL debuts so far. His calmness stands out. The 21 year-old plays with a confidence and maturity well beyond his young age and inexperience. He’s not afraid to mix it up and, more often than not, makes the right decision with the puck. He definitely is a smooth skater, as advertised. Surprisingly, in spite of his rather lean body, he does seem to win a lot of puck battles against much bigger and more experienced opponents.

You can already tell that Harris is an intelligent player with a high hockey IQ, just by observing the decisions and timing of what he does on the ice. We’ll need to see more of him to have a better idea of the type of player he will be at the NHL level, particularly offensively, but so far, he is passing the first eye test with flying colours.

The Canadiens only have two games left and we will have to see if Martin St-Louis and Luke Richardson decide to play him in both games or not. The Habs are in New York visiting the Rangers on Wednesday, before coming back to Montreal to finish their season on Friday against the Florida Panthers. Personally, I see no reason to sit Harris for Kale Clague, that’s for sure.

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