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The 2nd overall pick in the 2012 WHL Bantam Draft, Jansen Harkins started slow for the Prince George Cougars last year, but really turned it on in the second half, and has carried that into this season with 20 goals and 79 points in 70 games. He added four assists in five games during the Cougars first round playoff loss. Harkins won a gold medal with Team Canada at the Ivan Hlinka tournament last summer, scoring two goals and four assists in six games. He also played for Team Canada at the Under 18 World Championships winning a bronze medal, and scoring three goals and two assists in seven games.
Harkins comes from good bloodlines, his father was a second round pick of the Calgary Flames, getting in 48 NHL games along with a long AHL, IHL and European pro journeyman career. He’s also the general manager of the Prince George team. His Uncle Brett played 78 NHL games, along with a long pro career, while his uncle Don played NCAA Hockey.
Center — shoots Left
Born May 23 1997 — North Vancouver, BC
Height 6.02 — Weight 182 [188 cm/83 kg]
Jansen Harkins is a good skater, with solid acceleration and top end speed. He can be dangerous off the rush with the ability to take defenders wide, and the ability to change speeds which can really fool defenders. He has a good first step allowing him to get to loose pucks. Harkins has the agility, and edgework to make quick cuts and avoid defenders. He also has decent balance, and a low centre of gravity allowing him to protect the puck in the cycle game, but could stand to add some muscle and core strength going forward. This added muscle would help him to win more puck battles in the corners.
Jansen Harkins has used vision and passing skills to be a top playmaker for the Cougars. With his strong puck protection, he extends plays waiting for a linemate to get open, and then making a quick tape to tape pass. He has the hockey sense to get open after moving the puck, and does well on give and goes. Harkins makes smart plays with the puck on his stick and creates offence by making the most of any available opportunity. He has the soft hands, quick release and powerful shot to score goals. He needs to use that shot more though as he can sometimes pass up good shooting opportunities and make an extra pass. Harkins is a versatile player who can create offense off the rush and in the cycle game, equally. He is willing to fight for loose pucks, but again more strength is needed. At 6’1″ he has the ideal size to play this style of game at the next level.
Jansen Harkins also plays a solid defensive game, and is already strong in the faceoff circle. His positioning is very strong, and he supports the defence well in defending down low. He kills penalties, cuts down passing lanes, and shows a willingness to block shots. Harkins takes pride in playing a two-hundred foot game, and never seems to take a shift off. He has the hockey IQ to read and anticipate plays, creating turnovers with a quick stick and quickly moving the puck and transitioning to offence.
Harkins has the potential to be a top-six centre, with the ability to play against the other team’s top lines if he is able to reach his full potential. His game is reminiscent of David Krejci of the Boston Bruins, but this is not a talent comparison, but merely a stylistic one.
Below are some videos of Jansen Harkins in action.
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