Welcome back to Top Shelf Prospects, the daily column that brings you the next crop of professional hockey players. Each day I will bring you a new player profile or topical article in the lead-up to the 2021 NHL Draft. Be sure to bookmark the site, follow me on Twitter, and spread the word for the site that will bring you analytical and critical profiles and scouting reports! Last Word On Hockey Prospects is your new headquarters for everything “2021 NHL Draft”! We have a complete listing of our draft articles here. Today we bring you our Brett Harrison Scouting Report.
The Covid pandemic means that this has been a tough season for many prospects. However, for those who normally play in the OHL, things have been particularly difficult as their season never quite started. Oshawa Generals centre Brett Harrison is one such prospect. With the OHL season never starting, he headed to Finland to play in the KooVee Tampere system. He played one game for the big club in the Mestis, Finland’s second division. This gave Harrison experience playing against men. Harrison also played seven games for their Under-20 club. He scored four goals and five assists for nine points. Harrison also played for Team Canada at the IIHF Under-20 World Championships. He helped the team to a gold medal, scoring two goals in the seven-game tournament.
The 16th overall pick in the 2019 OHL Draft, Harrison had a solid rookie season for the Generals. He scored 21 goals and 16 assists for 37 points in 58 games played. Harrison also played for Team Canada White at the Under-17 World Hockey Challenge. He scored two goals in six tournament games. Harrison has also been an exceptionally disciplined player with just 16 penalty minutes total over the last two seasons.
Brett Harrison Scouting Report
Centre — shoots Left
Born June 7th, 2003 — Dorchester, Ontario
Height 6’2″ — Weight 185 lbs [188 cm/84 kg]
Harrison’s skating is a bit of a work in progress. He has a very straight stance and lacks the knee bend and hip flexion to really give his stride power. This means that his acceleration as well as his top-end speed are a bit below average. He could really improve if he can get with a good skating coach. Harrison’s lateral agility and edgework can also improve. His cross-overs are a bit sloppy and this can reduce his ability to accelerate out of his turns. He does have good size and lower body strength though. This helps his balance and his ability to battle along the boards and in front of the net.
Harrison is a pure sniper who can score in a variety of ways. He has an outstanding wrist shot, with good accuracy as well as excellent power. He also has a very good one-timer. Harrison can also score with his snapshot and backhand. He can finish plays in tight to the net as well. His quick hands allow Harrison to pounce on rebounds and pick up deflections in close. Harrison has a real knack for finding open spaces in the offensive zone and setting himself up to take a pass from a teammate.
Harrison is also a good playmaker. He has excellent vision and the hockey IQ to anticipate the movements of his teammates and opponents. Harrison can pass pucks through tight lanes or saucer them over an opponent’s stick. He is also effective in using his body to shield the puck in the cycle game. His strong work down low allows teammates the time to get open. Harrison is also good at winning battles on the boards. He is aggressive on the forecheck and causes turnovers.
Harrison is a hard worker in his own zone, helping the defence down low and using his size and strength to contain opponents on the cycle. He does a good job with his positioning and with his long stick to cut down passing lanes as well. However, his lack of speed can be a real issue. He can be caught deep in the offensive zone, getting on the forecheck and then be late in helping out against the rush. Harrison also doesn’t win a lot of races to loose pucks. When a turnover is created, he can be an outlet pass and then move the puck up the ice to a teammate. He doesn’t really carry the puck through the neutral zone that often.
Projection and Comparison
While Harrison currently plays centre, his future in the NHL is likely to be on the wing. He can score goals and play a power game but will need some serious improvements in his skating to take the next step. This is possible with proper coaching though. The rest of his game and his work ethic suggests that he could have a ceiling as a top-six winger if he can fix his issues. Harrison is likely to continue with the Generals next season and likely needs two or three years before he’s ready for the NHL. His game is reminiscent of Eric Staal but this is a stylistic comparison only and not one based on skill and ability.
The following is a compilation of some of the highlight packages and features of Brett Harrison that are available on youtube and twitter.
— Josh Bell (@JoshuaBell31) April 28, 2021
— TSN (@TSN_Sports) April 28, 2021
— Josh Bell (@JoshuaBell31) May 3, 2021
Tullio with a centered pass and sets up Brett Harrison's goal. pic.twitter.com/VBoE93zM5B
— Josh Tessler (@JoshTessler_) March 13, 2020
— RtvNationals (@RtvNationals) April 6, 2019
— Caitlin Berry (@caitlinsports) November 3, 2019
— Generals Live (@GeneralsUpdates) January 26, 2020
— Generals Live (@GeneralsUpdates) February 5, 2021
Tyler Tullio ('20) picks up the loose puck, skates up the ice and completes a cross ice pass to Brett Harrison ('21). Harrison with a backhand shot goal. pic.twitter.com/vKb3UGGHJR
— Josh Tessler (@JoshTessler_) January 25, 2020
Come back tomorrow for our latest NHL Draft article.
Brett Harrison Scouting Report Main Photo:
OSHAWA, ON – JANUARY 19: Brett Harrison #44 of the Oshawa Generals skates with the puck during an OHL game against the Ottawa 67’s at the Tribute Communities Centre on January 19, 2020, in Oshawa, Ontario, Canada. (Photo by Chris Tanouye/Getty Images)