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Winnipeg Jets Top 25 Under 25: #13 Jansen Harkins

They're creepy and they're kooky, mysterious and spooky. They're all together ooky, Arctic Ice Hockey.

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#47, 2015











Previous Rank: n/a

Another day, another prospect from the Draft Class of 2015 making their way straight to the Top 25 Under 25. Jansen Harkins went into the draft with chances of being a first round selection, ranked 25th by Future Considerations, 25th by ISS Hockey, 30th by TSN, 34th by and 15th among North American skaters by NHL Central Scouting. We here at Arctic Ice Hockey already have a bit of history with Harkins, after drafting him 25th overall in the SB Nation 2015 NHL Mock Draft. Truly it's a small world after all, and it makes for a nice bit of value to catch a faller such as him at 47th.

Jansen Harkins plays an honest, mature brand of hockey. He's the on-ice equivalent of a Y-Wing, which is to say a workhorse that's not quick or flashy but gets the job done. "Blue-collar" seems to be one of the go-to terms when describing his game, and that's not a bad thing when your hard workin' man also has offensive ability, as Harkins does. Whenever you have a first year draft-eligible player in major junior who both scored at over a point per game pace and is consistently praised for his excellent positioning and puck protection, that there is a prospect worth having in your system.


As a 17 year old, Jansen Harkins led an underwhelming 2014-15 Prince George Cougars squad with 79 points in 70 games. That points total put him in a tie for 16th among all players, and 2nd among all U18 skaters, trailing only Nick Merkley. His points per game of 1.13 placed 3rd among U18 skaters who played at least 40 games, behind Mathew Barzal and the aforementioned Merkley. Considering Harkins' age, complete game style and the fact that his 2014-15 wingmen weren't exactly a WHL murderer's row, he did just fine.

Our friend Scott Wheeler over at Pension Plan Puppets also points out that Harkins regularly faced the opposition's best players, as well as playing a prominent role on the team's penalty kill. A one-dimensional scorer, Harkins is not.

AIH Authors' Thoughts:


Plays C, and is positioned just behind Roslovic on the THN Jets depth chart for that position. Only plays that position, and I haven't found any notes that he plays either wing. Three years of WHL hockey under his belt, and will likely have a fourth.


Harkins reminds me of captain Andrew Ladd. He has a great 200 foot game and isn't afraid to make a hit. Off ice, Harkins seems like a good kid who is mature for his age. If he is a Jet, I think he'll be a good locker room presence even from a young age.


Put up 79 points for the Prince George Cougars last year and was a borderline first round pick but fell to the Jets. Lots of skill here, favourited a tweet I was mentioned in.


What a gift Chevy had fall into his lap at 47th this past summer. I would've been much happier with him at 25th over Roslovic, so the fact that we got them both is a boon. Have to wonder why so many passed on him though, but I'll be interested to see what he can do in the 'Dub this year.


Billed primarily as a hard-working, two-way defensive wunderkind, the offensive side of Harkins' game doesn't get the credit it deserves. His playmaking ability is sublime, combining vision with quick and decisive execution (when appropriate). Add to that a deceptive shot and general patience with the puck, and you have a more than capable offensive player.

He's unafraid of driving the net and willing to skate at the opposition head-on if he sees opportunity. With lots of practice as Prince George's all situations go-to guy, Harkins is a player who can perform under pressure and in tight spaces, necessary traits if possessing NHL aspirations.

There's a shiftiness to Harkins' movement, though his capable hockey IQ may be masking some skating limitations. Having said that, I'm very excited about having Harkins in the pipeline and look forward to his continuing development.

Outside Sources:

The Hockey News:

Assets: Owns very good pedigree (his father Todd played in the NHL and so did his uncle Brett) and excellent two-way instincts. Has projectable size and good playmaking ability. Works very hard and displays leadership qualities that add plenty of value to his overall profile.

Flaws: Needs to fill out and get stronger to become a quality shutdown center at the National Hockey League level. May not have high-end goal-scoring acumen, which could limit his point production at the highest level.

Potential: Solid two-way center with upside.

Hockey's Future:

Harkins had perhaps the most complete skill set among draft-eligible forwards in 2015. He has good acceleration and balance, is composed on the ice, and protects the puck effectively.

Patrick Allen, Hockey's Future:

Harkins is one of the most complete hockey players in the draft. His reliable play down the middle, mixed with playmaking prowess and the ability to play reliable hockey in all three zones, will be extremely valuable for the Jets franchise moving forward. Due to the fact that the majority of the Jets’ young centers are more known for their abilities on the offensive side of the puck, rather than defensive reliability, Harkins may be asked to focus on that aspect of his development.

Scott Wheeler, Pension Plan Puppets:

Harkins is among the 2015 class' better two way players despite lacking an explosiveness to his stride that's consistent in some of the rest of the drafts top forwards. Harkins is still a strong skater once he gets going, but needs to add a quick first few strides to his arsenal as he develops...Beyond his prowess as a puck retriever and passer, Harkins is also adept at controlling and protecting the puck off the rush or on the cycle. Possessing quick hands, Harkins is able to make plays in tight at full speed...Harkins is among the class' best two-way pivots and projects comfortably as a middle-six centre at the next level if he can continue to grow.

Curtis Joe, EliteProspects:

A blue collar type two-way center. Heads-up player who makes high-percentage plays in all three zones; efficient in all situations. Smooth skater. Out-working the opposition and being hard to play against are leadership traits that Jansen Harkins most definitely embodies.

Craig Button, TSN:

Projection: No. 2 Two-Way Centre

Jansen is a smart and tenacious player in all areas of the game. His determination is undeniable and he is always prepared to do whatever is necessary to make a positive difference in the game. Good skills and with improved speed, power and quickness, his impact will only increase. Has that completely unselfish, team approach to winning.

NHL Comparable: Ryan O'Reilly



It seems if you're an NHL centre with some modicum of two-way ability, you've been a comparable for Jansen Harkins. David Krejci, Ryan O'Reilly, Ryan Kesler, even Jonathan Toews and Anze Kopitar thanks to Harkins himself, all have garnered a mention. Any of these names make for an ambitious projection, but it's nice knowing that Harkins is a prospect where lofty goals are legitimately part of the conversation. Even if he should fail to reach them, the Jets could have a leader and solid defensive stalwart on their hands.

Where do you think Jansen Harkins' ceiling is? Be sure to share your thoughts in the Comments section below, and thanks for reading!