Canadiens defenseman Jordan Harris will be out indefinitely with a lower-body injury, per a team announcement Tuesday. Harris has left the team’s California road trip and has returned to Montreal for “further testing and a thorough evaluation of his condition,” and the team will make a corresponding recall from AHL Laval later today. Additionally, after placing him on IR yesterday, the Canadiens confirmed that winger Rafaël Harvey-Pinard will be out of the lineup for six to eight weeks.
The Canadiens’ 23-man roster is full, so Harris will need to be moved to either IR or LTIR to facilitate a recall.
Harris, 23, is among the group of promising young Canadiens defenders, seeing his stock rise after a strong collegiate showing through four years at Northeastern. His rookie season in 2022-23 was solid, seeing him post 17 points and a relative Corsi share of 2.4% at even strength in 65 contests. The natural puck-mover has struggled to make as much of an impact this season, however, logging just three assists in 16 contests while seeing his possession numbers dip.
This is Harris’ second injury-related absence of the season. He’d missed two out of the Canadiens’ last three games with an upper-body injury but returned to play over 21 minutes in the Canadiens’ loss to the Bruins last Saturday. The Massachusetts-born defender is in the first season of a two-year, $2.8MM extension signed in February.
The news solidifies that Jayden Struble will enter the lineup tomorrow against the Ducks and make his NHL debut. A second-round pick of the team in 2019, Struble has six points in 12 games with AHL Laval this season and will slot in on the third pairing alongside Gustav Lindström.
A lengthy absence is a tough break for Harvey-Pinard, who’s struggled to find his footing in the Habs’ lineup this season. After ending last season hot with 14 goals and 20 points in 34 contests, the 2019 seventh-round pick has failed to light the lamp this year and has four assists in 13 games.