The Montreal Canadiens were unable to convince Jordan Harris to turn pro and sign his entry-level contract last offseason, as the 21-year-old instead returned to Northeastern University for his senior season with the Huskies. Serving as captain, he now has ten points in 14 games, and in a piece from Marc Antoine Godin of The Athletic, Harris’ coach Jerry Keefe calls him “the best defenseman in the country.”
The piece details how Harris has always shown loyalty to the programs and teams he plays for, but also examines how the young defenseman’s draft rights will expire if not signed by August of 2022. At that point, he could become an unrestricted free agent and sign anywhere in the league, should he decide that Montreal isn’t the best step for his career. It’s obvious that the Canadiens want to bring him into the organization, but there will be a ticking clock from the time his season ends.
- The St. Louis Blues are getting a key player back, as Brayden Schenn will make his return to the lineup tonight when they take on the Detroit Red Wings. Schenn has missed nine games with an upper-body injury and will be playing in just his tenth game of the season. In fact, this will be the first time all year that the Blues are icing a fully healthy lineup.
- Speaking of Central Division reinforcements, the Nashville Predators had Filip Forsberg on the ice today at practice. The injured forward has only played in a single game this month and nine on the season so far. It’s not clear exactly when he’ll be back in the lineup, but the team has remained within striking distance in the meantime, just two points behind the Minnesota Wild for first place in the division.
I hope this guy goes UFA. It’ll serve the Habs right for blundering another good draft pick away.
Who was the other good draft pick?
@big boi – By “good” draft pick, I should have clarified with top first/second round pick. Other teams’ top picks have a better chance of being good. Bergevin, however, has demonstrated an uncanny ability to waste picks on guys, who then don’t get properly developed, only to see them end up on another team for one reason or another (offer sheet, anyone?). Most, if not all, of their cast-off projects haven’t proven to be worthy of their original draft position. Harris, being highly touted by his coach, certainly doesn’t guarantee NHL success, but if he keeps trending up, he’ll better his chances at a landing spot more to his liking.
How did the habs blunder that pick? Harris was clear he values his education over hockey. It was made very clear when he was drafted. They tried to convince him to join last year and he told them he wanted to graduate before persuing hockey. If harris chooses to enter ufa status its cuz he doesnt think habs would develop him right. Cuz at this point harris is their top dman snd with weber retired petry struggling kulak a ufa chariot likely traded so habs going into 2022 with very slim on the backend so harris could easily get top 3 dman minutes
@Brent97 2 – “If harris chooses to enter ufa status its cuz he doesnt think habs would develop him right.” You answered your own question. The Habs’ lousy track record of developing players, regardless of where they were picked, is still preventing them from regaining past glory. Normally, teams actually interview potential draft picks to see how they feel about the organization and how the organization views them as players and whether they would represent the team well off the ice. I don’t think the Habs understand the importance of hearing what a guy has to say before they draft an unwilling participant. Logan Mailloux is not a good example, but at least he said “Please don’t draft me”, which was promptly ignored by Bergevin, only to get a boatload of backlash. Harris, while on the smallish side, appears to see the deficiencies in the Habs development program and probably feels he would be a better fit elsewhere. If the Habs were doing it right, he’d have probably signed his ELC by now, showing his faith in them, hence my description of “blundering a good draft pick away.” If you go to the Habs’ draft page on HockeyReference, you may end up with a headache looking at their track record with just top three rounders over the last decade. And, FTR, I hope Harris proves to be a real deal, and not over-hyped by his coach. While I don’t have the same rooting interest in Northeastern, as, say, @Nha Trang does, I’d like to see these types of D-men get their chance in the NHL to prove themselves.
Teams should own a college player’s rights for at least one year after they finish their college career.
This loophole that junior and overseas players do not get to exploit makes no sense.
@forwhomjoshbelltolled – I’d be in favor of the junior/overseas players to get the same treatment, rather than jam up the NCAA players, myself. I’m sure we don’t get a vote on that, though…
If picks can sign with whoever, you don’t have a draft. If you don’t have a draft, you are the same as college sports. I loathe college sports where the best players just sign with the best teams, etc.
Adam Fox should be a Flame. Pretty good pick by them.
Just to point out, junior players and European players do have a similar process. CHL draft rights are only held for 2 years, European draft rights (from federations with transfer agreements) held for 4. They can re-enter the draft after that, or if aged out, sign as a free agent.
@forwhomjoshbelltolled – That is, of course, a worst-case scenario that isn’t likely to play itself out. I dislike college sports not named hockey, for the same reason, but also other reasons, too. These types of situations can be avoided, sometimes, by interviewing the potential picks, in depth. You can never account for a player changing his mind later, but getting a good read on a guy could prevent many of these things from happening. Some have never learned from Eric Lindros.
Is Jerry Keefe aware that North Dakota is in the same country?
W H Twittle
Is Owen Power’s Michigan in the USA …?