Montreal Canadiens: 7 Talking Points

VANCOUVER, BRITISH COLUMBIA - JUNE 21: Cole Caufield (Photo by Kevin Light/Getty Images)
VANCOUVER, BRITISH COLUMBIA - JUNE 21: Cole Caufield (Photo by Kevin Light/Getty Images) /
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BOSTON, MA – FEBRUARY 10: Jordan Harris. (Photo by Richard T Gagnon/Getty Images)
BOSTON, MA – FEBRUARY 10: Jordan Harris. (Photo by Richard T Gagnon/Getty Images) /

4. Jordan Harris

Jordan Harris is a name Habs fans should know. He is one of the organization’s exciting left-defence prospects along with his big-hitting teammate Jayden Struble, the smooth-skating Kaiden Guhle, the hard-shooting Gianni Fairbrother and the offensively-gifted Matthias Norlinder.

Each of these players has a real shot at the NHL and when considering the presence of Alex Romanov on the Habs’ roster, the left side of defence should be a significant strength for the team moving forward, it just isn’t right now. The good news is that Harris, Romanov and Norlinder have all demonstrated their strong play at the right side of defence, a position of relative weakness in the Habs’ prospect pool.

Jordan Harris has been plying his trade in the NCAA for each of the three seasons since the Canadiens drafted him in the third round in 2018, and he has steadily improved every season. Last season he proved how effective he is as a defensive-defenseman and this season he demonstrated his talents in a more offensive role. He is very good at just about everything, this includes skating, he is supremely mobile; all of the aforementioned prospects are, actually.

Last season, Harris put up 3 goals and 21 points in 33 games for Northeastern, this season he put up 6 goals and 19 points in 19 games: a point/game as a defenseman and second on the team in pts/g.

Harris’ and Northeastern’s season has come to a close and Harris can now sign an entry-level deal with the Habs. By the time this article is published, he may already have put pen to paper and begun his quarantine to join the Laval Rocket. There is a chance that he does not sign with Montreal, plays his final collegiate season and signs with another team in free agency in 2022, but, by all accounts, he is not of the character to do such a thing, so expect him to sign a deal soon.

While his arrival will coincide with the Habs’ lack of a smooth-skating puck-moving defenseman with offensive tools (a bill he fits to a tee), he should and likely will start out with the Laval Rocket in the AHL. While the NCAA is a strong league the jump to the NHL is a huge one; don’t forget that Jimmy Vesey and Adam Gaudette dominated the NCAA and won the Hobey Baker award as the best college hockey player in their final collegiate seasons. Vesey was recently waived while Gaudette is a good but unspectacular NHLer, though he has been a thorn in the Habs’ side this season.

Harris will benefit from Joel Bouchard’s tutelage and will need time to acclimate to pro hockey. If he does dominate the AHL, the conversation could be had of bringing him up, but not before then. While Harris will, in all likelihood, not help the Canadiens’ situation at left-defence this season, he will do so in the not-so-distant future.