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Harkins, Green looking to build on pro experience

Prospects go through final practice before scrimmage Friday at Bell MTS Iceplex

by Mitchell Clinton @MClinton007 /

Jansen Harkins has only had a taste of professional hockey, but the ten combined games he's played at the end of the last two seasons with the Manitoba Moose were enough to show him the importance of Development Camp.

Especially when the very coaches he's trying to impress are on the ice with him.

"Just to see them out on the ice and watching you, it's a bit different than your regular training during the summer," said Harkins. "It puts a little more intensity in you."

The 20-year-old Harkins posted three goals and seven points in those AHL games. This, along with a WHL career that saw his 242 points set a new Prince George Cougars franchise record, earned him an three-year entry-level contract on Apr. 7, 2017.

At 47th overall, Harkins was the third player selected by the Winnipeg Jets in the 2015 NHL Draft. Of the eight players selected that year, five have signed an entry-level deal with the club - Kyle Connor, Jack Roslovic, Michael Spacek, Sami Niku, and Harkins.

Video: DEV CAMP | Jansen Harkins

"Signing my first NHL contract is a dream come true for me," Harkins said. "That's the first step. It's been a quick couple years since the Draft, and I was really excited to get that done. Just get some faith, and feel it from them. It's awesome.

"I think that helped me with the Moose too. Just being confident. That's such a big part of the game is being confident and obviously getting good ice time. I was able to play with some really good players with the Moose. Pascal gave me a good opportunity which I'm pretty thankful for, and hopefully I can take the end of last year and move it into this year."

Harkins is one of eight players at this week's Development Camp with either AHL or NHL experience. Luke Green is also on that list, following his one assist in four games with the Moose last season.

"It was great to get a taste of pro hockey up here with the Moose," said Green. "I think I'm a lot more comfortable this year. Coming in last year, I was just drafted and it was a busy two weeks leading up to this, and I didn't really know what to expect. This year I'm a lot more comfortable. I know a lot more of the guys, and the staff, and I'm just feeling a lot more comfortable this year."

Video: DEV CAMP | Luke Green

Green's experience at the pro level came after his QMJHL season came to an end. It was a unique year for Green, who was traded from the Saint John Sea Dogs - who selected the defenceman first overall in the 2014 QMJHL Draft - to the Sherbrooke Phoenix.

"It was the first time I've ever been traded. I thought it was a great year for me personally development wise," said Green, who compiled 37 points in his 60 games in 2016-17. "I thought I made big strides in my game in the second half in Sherbrooke… I'm happy with how my season went."

Green and Harkins will take to the ice one more time this week, with a scrimmage beginning at 10:30 am CT at Bell MTS Iceplex on Friday.

"Every year I've come here it's been fun," said Harkins. "It's just the beginning of the summer so there's a lot of positivity in the air."

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