MONTREAL - It's been an exciting year for Jordan Harris. In his first year in the NCAA, he helped the Northeastern University Huskies to a Beanpot win and earned an invitation to the World Junior Summer Showcase with Team USA. We caught up with the 19-year-old rearguard at development camp to find out more about his first year in the college ranks, his thoughts on the chance to represent his country, and more.
You're at your second development camp. Have you been approaching this one a bit differently?
JORDAN HARRIS: A little bit, yeah. You just feel a little more relaxed overall. The first year, you're a little on edge. Everything's going fast and you're trying to meet new faces and people. So the second year round you know what you're going through already. I feel like you have a little more confidence in what you can show on the ice as well. Having Frankie [player development coach Francis Bouillon] and [director of player development Rob] Ramage come down to games... they already know your game. You're a little more relaxed, I'd say.
Did you build up a bit of a rapport with Ramage and Bouillon?
JH: A little bit, yeah. I know they made it to a few games of ours. We had the chance to talk with both of them about my game and what they saw moving on for the future. It's good to see that they care about us as players. To be able to build a relationship was good.
Would you say that you've taken on a bit more of a leadership role with people who are here for the first time?
JH: Yes, exactly. Especially with Jayden [Struble], knowing him before, he had a few questions. Just being able to answer and be there for other younger guys if they have any questions. It's been good.
NCAA rules prevent you from taking part in any other camps with the Canadiens (i.e. rookie camp). Does that change your approach at development camp and what you're hoping to take out of it?
JH: I've never really thought about that. I just try to take in as much as I can, honestly. And they do a great job here just with teaching and hitting all aspects of being a hockey player. I wouldn't think you have to be more focused, or that you have less of an opportunity to take extra things in, but I feel like they do a good job explaining everything. I'm just trying to soak in as much as I can.
Last year, you were coming here after your last year in high school. Does it feel different now that you've had a year of college hockey and that environment behind you?
JH: I guess so. In college, the talent and the skill is a lot deeper than in prep school. And the guys here are a bit older, so it's more of a level playing field. Coming from prep school, there are some good players, but the talent is definitely not nearly as deep and the pace here is a lot faster. So I feel like having a year under my belt at a lot higher level has given me more confidence in being able to do what I can as a player and make plays and stuff like that.
How did it feel to get invited to the World Junior Summer Showcase for Team USA?
JH: It's pretty exciting. Obviously, any chance you have to try out for a US team is really special. I've never made the US team in the past so hopefully, this one's the one. But it's really exciting to just be given the opportunity. Anytime you get recognized for the work that you put in and are given a chance to compete on an international level is really special.
We spoke to your former coach at Kimball Union, Tim Whitehead, last summer. Have you still been picking up the lacrosse stick at all?
JH: No, my coach wouldn't have any of that. I haven't touched a lacrosse stick. It's all hockey from here on out.
Do you miss it at all?
JH: A little bit. It was fun, but I'm all in for hockey from now on.