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2015 NHL Draft Prospect Profile #20 - Jansen Harkins

This WHL forward started slow, but has turned into a strong playmaker. He's got all the tools to be a very successful top six player - but is he what Columbus is looking for?

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Jansen Harkins

Position: Center
Current Team: Prince George Cougars (WHL)
Date of Birth: May 23rd, 1997
Place of Birth: North Vancouver, BC
Height: 6'1"
Weight: 181 lbs.
Shoots: Left

Jansen Harkins comes from a hockey family - his father and uncle both had long pro careers, including stints in the NHL, and has impressed scouts with his two way play. Drafted as the second overall pick in the WHL bantam draft, Harkins didn't make a big impact at first, but finished his first season in the Dub with 10-24-34 in 67 games, then turned it up for 20-59-79 in 70 games of the regular season, plus four assists in the Cougars first round appearance.

He's more of a playmaker than a shooter, has been excellent in the faceoff dot, and brings impressive skating to go with his size. A team looking for a future 2nd/3rd line center could do a lot worse.

Scouting Reports

A highly intelligent two-way forward...skates well and will only get better with added strength...consistent and reliable...impressive in the faceoff circle...high-end defensive zone play due to his smarts, a long reach and positioning...has impressive vision and good puck skills...strong on the cycle...protects the puck well...possesses impressive playmaking skills and delivered pucks at proper times...not many holes in his game...has room to grow physically. - Future Considerations.

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 offenceHarkins 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. -Last Word On Sports

A Good Fit In Columbus?

In a vacuum, Harkins looks like a great pick if the Blue Jackets wanted to move back up into the first round. He could easily be another Brandon Dubinsky / Nick Foligno type player - perhaps even better. But the team's forward depth is solid enough that I don't expect them to make a move back up for him, and the needs on D virtually demand the club use the #8 pick on a blueliner. There are reports that the Canucks have been scouting Harkins pretty heavily - I suspect that's where he may end up when all is said and done.

Harkins In Action