It has been a big last four months for Jordan Harris.
From representing the USA at the World Junior Championships (WJC) in the Czech Republic, to scoring the game-winning goal in the Beanpot in Double OT to give the Northeastern Huskies their third Beanpot championship in a row, he’s had quite the junior year.
Harris said the Beanpot goal is something that will stand out to him for a while.
“It was kind of nuts,” Harris said of the goal on the BTS Hockey Podcast in the days after the game. “In the moment you don’t really know what to do. You don’t realize the importance until afterwards with your friends and family reaching out. We had a ton of fans there from Northeastern. It was really special to be able to do it for everyone there and to bring it back to Northeastern for the third year in a row. It’s history here, so it’s really special.”
Harris’ Time in Prep Hockey
A third-round pick by the Montreal Canadiens in 2018, Harris was one of the few players drafted out of prep hockey after spending three years at Kimball Union Academy (KUA) in New Hampshire. He said that while it’s not the common path that players take to the draft, he would recommend it to anyone.
“It was amazing, and personally I recommend prep school hockey to the young kids out there. I was able to play with my brother my first year so that was really special. We had Tim Whitehead there as a head coach and he was huge (for us.) He used to be the coach at Maine and UMass Lowell, he was great with us. There’s an opportunity to get better and plenty of places to showcase your ability in prep school. There’s always college or NHL teams there, so you get that exposure. It was a lot of fun, I loved my time there.”
Harris said that he knew how the scouting world viewed players coming from prep hockey, but said he had his mind made up when he went to KUA to stay there until he finished.
“You don’t really see it much,” Harris said. “There are some negative views about prep hockey, whether it’s the competition not being strong or whether you can’t tell how good a player is if they’re drafted out of high school. It was really special though, and I really wanted to graduate from KUA so that was a decision that my family and I made beforehand. To be able to do that and win the New England Championships made for a special year.”
A Bruins fan growing up, Harris admitted he took some flack from those close to him about being drafted by the Canadiens, but he said that they’re going to have to deal.
“I heard so many jokes about it,” Harris said, laughing. “It’s definitely a big question that comes up, that historic rivalry. My friends and family have to change their opinions somewhat.”
Representing Team USA at the 2020 WJC
A key member of the blue line for Team USA at this past year’s WJC, Harris said that there were some moments that really stood out about his experience.
“There’s so much information to soak in,” Harris said. “It’s always fun to play against the best competition and see how you do. It was a lot of fun, and it was my first time representing the USA on a stage like that. It was a huge accomplishment for me, and I had my dad there so that was really special too. It’s something that I’ll cherish, it was a lot of fun.”
Harris’ teammate at Northeastern, Tyler Madden, represented the USA in 2019 at the WJC, and Harris said he sought out Madden to get some advice on how to approach the tournament.
“We’re pretty good friends, so I wanted to see what he thought,” Harris said. “I wanted to see what kind of mindset I should take into camp, and carry with me throughout the tournament. He had some good things to say — ‘Just stay level headed and play your game.’ So I tried to stay with that. It worked out, I made the team. It was nice to have a guy here who has been through the whole process.”
Harris said he and his brother, Elijah, who plays at Endicott College, have continued to have a close connection — he goes to Elijah whenever he needs help with anything.
“I still look up to him, and did growing up, he’s the hardest worker that I know. We’d always play street hockey in the front yard, and that’s always fun to bring the competition out in both of us. I still ask him for advice to this day and we are pretty close, it’s nice.”
Harris scored 21 points in 33 games this past year for the Huskies and many in the industry see him as a potential second-pairing defenseman in the NHL for Montreal. He says that despite playing defense for a good chunk of his career, he did grow up playing goalie like his father, Peter, who played at UMass Lowell, as well as his brother.
“My older brother was a goalie also, so growing up, I played both, as well as forward, so I was all over the place. I told my dad ‘I want to be a goalie’ and he said ‘that’s not happening’ and he moved me back to defense. I think he had enough goalies in the family. He moved me back and it stuck.”
The decision seems to be a rather good one.