2020-21 Team: KOOVEE U20 (Finland)
Date of Birth: Jun. 7, 2003
Place of Birth: London, ON, Canada
Ht: 6-foot-2 Wt: 185 pounds
NHL Draft Eligibility: 2021 first-year eligible
- NHL Central Scouting: 50th (amongst NA skaters)
- Future Considerations: 29th
- Peter Baracchini’s March Rankings: 32nd
- Andrew Forbes’ February Rankings: 37th
- Matthew Zator’s April Rankings: 42nd
- Dobber Prospects: 44th
- Smaht Scouting: 85th
Brett Harrison was one of many prospects who had to deal with the uncertainty and ultimate cancellation of the 2020-21 Ontario Hockey League (OHL) season. He spent a little bit of time playing in Finland’s top junior league with KOOVEE 20. He only played in seven games, but he made good use of his time with four goals and nine points.
Harrison was drafted 16th overall by the Oshawa Generals in the 2019 OHL Priority Selection. He scored 21 goals and 37 points in 58 games before his rookie season was lost to the COVID-19 pandemic. Only two other rookies hit the 20-goal mark during the 2019-20 season; Mason McTavish of the Peterborough Petes and exceptional status grantee Shane Wright of the Kingston Frontenacs.
Related: THW 2021 NHL Draft Guide
When you watch Harrison highlight packages on Harrison, you might start to think you are watching the same goal played on loop. There is nothing flashy about his game or how he generates offense. The majority of goals start with him setting up office in front of the net, his favorite spot on the ice. He uses his size to gain just enough separation from defenders to score on a deflection or off of a rebound. He is constantly putting himself in positions to succeed and produce in the offensive zone.
While his play in the offensive zone is highly touted, Harrison needs to improve his performance when he doesn’t have the puck. He needs to become a better skater at this point in his career as he is slow getting back and suppressing the opposition’s transition game. When he does get into the zone, he is very active; constantly looking for a stick to tie up or a passing lane to take away. He showed some progress defensively during his short time in Finland, but he will need to continue work on his skating and positioning if he wants to take the step into the pro game.
Other THW Draft Profiles:
Brett Harrison – NHL Draft Projection
The 2021 NHL Entry Draft is one of the hardest ever to project. Harrison could hear his name called as early as late in the first round or somewhere in the third round. There is no doubt that he will be selected in the first half of the draft; it is just a matter of exactly when. He is an intriguing prospect with the size and physical tools that have the attention of NHL general managers.
“Harrison knows how to use his size to his advantage. When the puck is dumped in, he is great at getting in on the forecheck and uses his size to win puck battles in the corners. He does not shy down from physicality and loves to hit opponents when given the chance to do so. One of the spots where he makes his presence felt the most is right in front of the net. Standing at 6-foot-1, he is great at finding space in front and has superb hand-eye coordination that he uses to deflect pucks into the back of the net.” Mathieu Sheridan, The Hockey Writers
“Brett’s offensive contributions rely on his superb ability to find open space around the net. He uses his size to battle for position in front of the net, and he consistently puts himself in favorable positions to gain an advantage on defenders. He is always hovering around the slot, looking to find a hole to give him that split second he needs to receive a pass and find the back of the net.” Jordan Malette, Smaht Scouting
“Harrison is not a flashy player by instinct, but he is often able to use his skill on the puck to draw attention to him and create space for his teammates. That being said, he has shown significant improvement with his ability to assert himself offensively this year, which is a very positive sign in his development curve. Harrison’s defensive positioning and instincts generate turnovers, where he is then able to use his crisp passes to break out quickly. If he can continue progressing his skating agility and physical play, Harrison projects as a really strong, two-way winger that can play anywhere in an NHL team’s top-nine.” Tony Ferrari, Dobber Prospects
- Net-Front Presence
Under Construction (Improvements to Make)
- Transition Game
- Defensive Positioning
Harrison knows how to score goals by using his size and getting to the front of the net. That will always give him a chance to get to the highest level. If he continues to get better at his all-around game, he could become a useful middle-six winger that can be used to provide screen and score greasy goals on the power play.
Risk – 3/5 | Reward – 4/5
Fantasy Hockey Potential
Offense – 7/10 | Defense – 5/10
Harrison led the ALLIANCE U16 league in 2018-19 with 42 goals and 63 points playing for the London Jr. Knights U16 AAA team. He had two goals to help Canada win a gold medal at the 2021 U18 IIHF World Junior Championship.