The Nashville Predators have jumped into the fray of college signings, inking Patrick Harper to a two-year entry-level contract. The young forward recently completed his senior season at Boston University and could have become an unrestricted free agent this summer, had he waited until August. Predators director of player development Scott Nichol had this to say about his newest prospect:
Patrick is a dynamic player and with his size excels in the way today’s game is played. He’s a fun player to watch – he likes having the puck on his stick, he likes to make plays and wants to score goals every game. He fits in well on the power play and uses his biggest on-ice attribute – his hockey sense – to his advantage.
That size Nichol mentions is perhaps one of the reasons that Harper wasn’t selected higher than 138th in 2016, given he stands at just 5’7″ 150-lbs. Size wasn’t the only obstacle that the 21-year old has faced to this point however. In 2018, just after helping Team USA to a bronze medal at the World Juniors (his second appearance at the tournament, after winning gold a year prior), Harper was sidelined due to illness and missed the second half of his sophomore season with BU.
Nothing seems able to hold him back however, as the diminutive forward climbed his way back into elite company in the NCAA and was even nominated for the 2020 Hobey Baker. His 37 points in 32 games put him 14th in the country in per-game production, something he’ll try to carry over to the Predators minor league system whenever hockey resumes.