This series focuses on breaking down a game’s, or a few games’, performance from a player and pointing out specific elements through assembled clips with written descriptions and notes on what to watch for. The videos don’t have sound (for now). Suggestions are welcome to improve the format.
Jordan Harris is already playing a lot of minutes for Northeastern University. On Thursday, it seemed like he was on the ice for every other shift at even strength, facing Boston University’s top offensive elements on different defensive pairs and also on the penalty kill.
Northeastern has a young blue line overall, but it’s still exceptional for the freshman to be one of the defenders the coaching staff relies on the most. It is certainly unexpected considering that Harris comes directly from high-school hockey. These first few NCAA games were supposed to be a challenge for him, but looking at how comfortable he seems on the ice, no one would be able to tell without knowing his playing history.
This doesn’t mean that he is acting like a veteran out there; he remains a very raw prospect. Yet his demeanour and the plays he attempts are a sign of an innate confidence that will be a great building block for him.
Harris has mobility. He is a better skater than most on the ice. This skill, coupled with his desire to make plays happen, should have him grow quite quickly into a player able to make a difference for Northeastern every night.
On Thursday, he was pushing the pace of the game, helping the team get on the attack as fast as possible. Not all of his breakouts were successful; in fact, one of his attempts was based on a wrong read, and a little too ambitious, caused a goal against. But it is much better for a player to be willing to take some risks and learn from mistakes than be risk-averse and play conservatively, only slowly improving.
Credit should be given to the coaching staff of Northeastern here, which continues to trust the young Habs prospect despite a few errors here and there.
Harris isn’t placed on the power play for now. This is relatively normal as he just arrived on the team and he is also not one of its top offensive blue-line threats at this stage. This will make earning points a bit harder for him this season.
Despite not writing his name on the scoresheet in his last few contests, he has been one of the most exciting prospect to watch in this early season, showing many promising signs.