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Jansen Harkins and Why I Like Paul Maurice As a Coach

After he scored in the Winnipeg Jets 3-2 victory over the Calgary Flames, coach Paul Maurice spoke about Jansen Harkins. What did he say?

jansen harkins

In my research about another topic yesterday, I came across this twitter from August 3 where Winnipeg Jets’ coach is talking about 23-year-old prospect Jansen Harkins. If you are a Jets’ fan and wish to continue reading this article, I really encourage you to listen to 85 second talk to the media from coach Paul Maurice for two reasons. First, in just over a minute, it tells you lots about Jansen Harkins as a player. Second, it tells you lots about Paul Maurice as a coach.

I suppose if you are a Jets’ fan, it gives you something to be happy about even though your under-manned team was beaten by the Calgary Flames and are now waiting with other teams to draw in today’s Draft Lottery.

Related: Maurice Calls Tkachuk Hit on Scheifele “Filthy”, Jets Injury Updates

OK – I encourage you to listen to Maurice speak about Harkins, who was chosen by the Winnipeg Jets in round two (47th overall) of the 2015 NHL Entry Draft.

Harkins’ Career at the Lower Ranks

Harkins signed a three-year, entry-level contract with the Jets in April 2019. The 22-year-old Harkins had previously spent the 2016-17 campaign with the Prince George Cougars of the WHL, where he scored 21 goals and 51 assists (72 points) in 64 contests. In total, he played four seasons with the Cougars and scored 242 points (75 goals and 167 assists) in his 275 games there.

With the Cougars, Harkins won several awards and was part of some strong junior teams. Specifically, he was selected twice to the WHL All-Star team for the Canada/Russia Series and played in the 2015 Top Prospects Game. During his international play, Harkins was part of the silver-medal winning team at the 2014 World U-18 Hockey Challenge as a member of Team Pacific. He also was on a strong gold medal-winning Canadian team at the 2014 Ivan Hlinka Memorial Cup, and he won a bronze medal with Canada at the 2015 U-18 World Championship.

Harkins’ History with the Jets

Harkins was picked by the Jets during the second round (47th overall) in the 2015 NHL Entry Draft. It was a strong draft for the Jets, who also chose Kyle Connor and Jack Roslovic as part of the team’s first three selections. Connor (who’s having a career season) and Roslovic are playing with the big club and have made an impact. Now it’s time to see how Harkins does.

This season, because the Jets have been dealing with a large number of injuries, Harkins was recalled from the Moose. He got off to a good start, and in a 4-1 loss to last season’s Stanley Cup-winning St. Louis Blues, he registered an assist. In fact, during his first four games with the team, he scored two assists. Although he’s hasn’t received much ice time, he’s made the score sheet.

Harkins split the season almost equally between the Moose and the Jets. With the Moose, he played 30 games, scoring seven goals and 24 assists (31 points). With the Jets, he played 29 games, he scored two goals and five assists (for seven points).

Where’s Harkins Now?

The goal Maurice was speaking about in his talk with the media came during Game 2 of the best-of-five series the Jets recently played and lost to the Flames. Harkins had drawn in after Mark Scheifele and Patrik Laine were injured during Game 1.

As Maurice noted, it’s hard not to play Harkins. His play has improved. He’s played well with the Moose this season, and scored at more than a point-a-game pace. Now he scores during the postseason with the Jets.

Related: Winnipeg Jets’ Team News: Hellebuyck, Nogier, Dahlstrom, Perreault & Roslovic

Harkins might be the classic case of a player who longer time to develop. But, as Maurice says, he simply works so hard that he’s likely to find himself with a long NHL career.

It’s hard for me not to root for such a youngster as he’s shown himself to be.

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