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Early returns suggest Jordan Harris’s contract extension is good business

The ink has barely dried on that two-year extension, but Kent Hughes must be feeling good about the early returns.

NHL: Edmonton Oilers at Montreal Canadiens Eric Bolte-USA TODAY Sports

Going into the second half of a back-to-back, and taking on one of the hottest teams in the NHL, few would have been surprised if the Montreal Canadiens took an L on Sunday. That didn’t happen, and not only did they beat the Edmonton Oilers, they dominated the game for the most part. There was a lot to like coming from a largely inexperienced Habs squad.

Most notably, while the ink is barely dry on Jordan Harris’s contract extension, he’s looking like a player worth more than the $1.4 million per year it will pay him.

He was very effective in moving the puck and starting transition, but he was also looking to get involved offensively whenever he could. This was a shot from a very tough angle, but he placed it well, and the recognition to come down and provide an option for Evgenii Dadonov was great.

And his second goal was even better...

By the time he releases this puck, Harris has two guys all over him, and he still sneaks it just inside the far post. Joel Armia was bottled up, had nowhere else to go with the puck, and there were no red sweaters coming in on the far side to even try anything else. The lone option was Harris, and he was in perfect position to make the play.

What really stood out in his game was how well he picked his spots while pinching in the offensive zone, and joining the rush. Against a highly potent offensive team like the Oilers, making sure that you’re not taking ill-advised trips up ice as a defenseman is crucial. Harris did very well in making sure he remained in good position, while still recognizing quality opportunities to get involved offensively.

Perhaps of slight concern is that going for a bridge of two years on the new contract could put him in a position to ask for a lot more on the other side. Harris appears to be getting better as this year drags on, and doing so as part of a largely inexperienced defensive corps, on a bottom-10 team. When the team gets better around him over the course of those two years, his production may end up in a range that demands a big raise.

But there is a lot of hockey between now and then, and Kent Hughes bought himself two cheap years to evaluate Harris. If he earns a significant raise, it is a number I’m sure the team will be happy to put on paper.

Bottom Six Minutes!

In this episode, I want to let tank nation know that it is fine when the Canadiens win this year, as long as they deserve those wins. I think they’ll get back to losing sooner than later, so we may as well enjoy the good ones while we can.

I’ve linked both Spotify and Apple players below, and if you would consider subscribing on your preferred platform, I would greatly appreciate it!