Jansen Harkins THW Close-Up
Date of Birth: May 23, 1997
Place of Birth: North Vancouver, BC
Ht: 6’1” Wt: 180 lbs
NHL Draft Eligibility: 2015
Jansen Harkins may be the best player available in the 2015 NHL Draft that nobody really seems to be talking about that much.
It’s understandable. He plays for the Prince George Cougars, long thought to be a fringe outpost in the Western Hockey League. However, Harkins’ maturing over the past few seasons have coincided with the Cougars themselves being elevated form obscurity towards being a good, young team with a bright future.
For his part, Harkins does everything well and nothing poorly. He’s a 200-foot player who is a tenacious forechecker in all three zones. He hits effectively. He chases down pucks and puck-carriers effectively. He’s strong with the puck and smart without it, and is effective at stealing pucks and creating chances. In this sense, he’s similar in style to Calgary Flames pick – and WHL contemporary – Morgan Klimchuk.
If you want to try to poke holes in Harkins’ game, you could criticize his offensive creativity or his flashiness. He’s not a flashy player, and he plays a very effective north-south game. He doesn’t dangle and he’s not a tremendous east-west player, but he’s good at using his teammates and he’s got good hockey instincts all over the ice. For his part, he’s as competitive and effective in the opening period as he is at the end, so he’s got no issues with consistency.
Jansen Harkins is a smart player with NHL pedigree (the son of former NHLer Todd Harkins), good instincts and few holes in his game. The only thing holding him back from being an upper-echelon player in this year’s draft is that there’s not really anything excellent or exceptional about his game. That said, there isn’t anything that really sticks out as a glaring weakness. He’ll be a good addition to any team’s prospect base.
“A blue collar type two-way center. Heads-up player who makes high-percentage plays in all three zones; efficient in all situations. Smooth skater. Out-working the opposition and being hard to play against are leadership traits that Jansen Harkins most definitely embodies.”
–Curtis Joe, Elite Prospects
“Highly competitive pivot that is always moving his feet wreaking havoc for opposing defenders.”
–Brendan Ross, Dobber Prospects
Harkins has represented Canada twice on the international stage; winning gold at the Ivan Hlinka tournament and bronze at the U-18 World Championship.
Risk 1/5, Reward 3.5/5
Second or third line center, who plays first-unit penalty kill and second-unit power play.
- Very capable 200-foot game; good in all three zones.
- Strong hockey IQ.
- Tenacious forechecker and backchecker.
Flaws/Aspects He Needs To Work On:
- Needs to continue to work on his physical strength to be an effective pro.
- Harkins could always shoot a bit more, or drive the net to create something in low-chance situations.
Fantasy Hockey Potential:
Offensive 8/10, Defensive 7/10
NHL Player(s) Comparison:
Harkins seems to be aspiring towards being Derek Stepan or Bryan Little in the future.
When He’ll Go In June:
Harkins will likely be chosen in the late first round or early second, likely somewhere between 20 and 40.
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.