Harris spent last year playing high school hockey in New Hampshire for Kimball Union Academy. He is 5’11, 179 lbs and is committed to Northeastern University, where current Canadiens prospect Cayden Primeau also plays.
Harris also played five games in the USHL this season with Youngstown where he was a 3rd round pick in 2016. He was also selected by the Val d’Or Foreurs of the QMJHL in the same year.
He was also named to the USA High School All-American team this past season. His father played a few professional games as a goaltender in the ECHL, while his brother Elijah is a goaltender playing in the lower divisions of the NCAA.
He is praised for his skating. It is his best quality, and is truly a high-end ability. He is very agile and can slide along the offensive blue-line seamlessly to find lanes for his shots or shake forecheckers by turning quickly on them and start the breakout.
He is a left-handed shot and is also an able stick handler who can make a great outlet pass with his vision, or carry the puck through the neutral zone himself. He keeps his head up, can avoid pokechecks and find teammates in the slot as he gets in the offensive end.
On the defensive side of the game, Harris also shines with his gap control, something that benefits from his great skating. He has an active stick and can pokecheck the puck away from rushing attackers. He can also use his body to push opponents off the puck while descending through the defensive zone and take control of it himself to spring the attack.
Harris played against weaker competition this season, but the third round selection is deserved. He has a lot of the tools that should make him an able blue-liner in the NCAA next season. He will have to get comfortable making quicker decisions and use his handling ability to a greater extent to fuel his offensive game, but he is a good project for the Habs to take on.
A puck-moving blueliner, he is an elite skater, smoothly flying from zone to zone – even with the puck. He owns excellent end-to-end speed and isn’t shy about using it. He always keeps his feet moving. Speed, clearly, is his biggest asset. His stickhandling skills are that good. He transitions the puck extremely well – and fast.
Hockey Prospect Black Book
Harris is a smooth-skating, puck-moving defenseman with limited offensive upside. At the prep level, Harris was able to dominate puck possession. There were multiple games, even against good competition, where Harris seemed to have the puck on his stick for the majority of the game.
Future Considerations: 74
Hockey Prospect: 168
The Hockey News: 72
Bob McKenzie: 76
International Scouting Service: 77
EOTP Consensus Ranking: 98
Harris is the type of player you can take a chance on in the draft, especially considering the number of picks they have secured. He has potential to play a fast game, with elite skating, and that is something the Canadiens are obviously focusing on.
He’s the type of player you want to take a chance on. Will it be a guaranteed hit at the NHL level? No. But the upside is worth the risk at this point in the draft.