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On Campus: Harris workhorse for Northeastern

Canadiens defenseman prospect a 'difference-maker' for No. 12 team in Division I

by Mark Divver / Independent Correspondent

Jordan Harris never seems to get tired.

The sophomore defenseman for Northeastern University routinely plays over 30 minutes a game, according to his coach, who says there at times if seems like the Montreal Canadiens prospect is on the ice for the full 60 minutes.

"His play does not drop off with more minutes. His physical attributes allow him to be able to skate for that long and recover,'' said coach Jim Madigan, whose team is ranked No. 12 in Division I. "He wants to be a difference-maker and he is, both offensively and defensively.''

Harris (5-11, 179), who was selected by the Canadians in the third round (No. 71) of the 2018 NHL Draft, made the United States' preliminary roster for the IIHF World Junior Championship, which begins Dec. 26 in the Czech Republic. 

The 19-year-old has 13 points (three goals, 10 assists) in 18 games this season after having 13 points (one goal, 12 assists) in 39 games last season. 

A superb skating stride and the ability to move the puck are his main attributes, but he is a well-rounded on defense.

"He's not going to make the big hit, but he's going to eliminate you from the puck and you're going to know when he hits you," Madigan said. "He helps provide offensive production for us, jumping in the play. But he defends really well.
"He's a guy that thinks first about his own zone. He's thorough, reliable. From a coaching perspective, you want to be able to trust your players. We trust him unequivocally because he makes smart decisions with the puck.''

Harris, who is from Haverhill, Massachusetts, won two New England prep championships at Kimball Union Academy in New Hampshire.

He played well in five games with Youngstown of the United States Hockey League in 2018 after his prep season finished, providing a comfort level for the coaching staff at Northeastern that Harris was ready for the rigors of college hockey.

"You always wonder and question how the adjustment is going to go from prep school to college because it is such a big jump,'' said Madigan.


Power-play specialist

After being held without a point in his first four NCAA games, Northeastern freshman forward Aidan McDonough is coming on strong.

McDonough (6-3, 190) scored twice and assisted on two other goals in a 6-4 win against Dartmouth on Dec. 14. He has 15 points (seven goals, eight assists) in 15 games. All seven of his goals have come on the power play.

Selected by the Vancouver Canucks in the seventh round (No. 195) of the 2019 NHL Draft, the 20-year-old McDonough plays on a line with center Tyler Madden, who was selected by the Canucks in the third round (No. 68) of the 2018 draft.


Lightning strike

St. Cloud University sophomore defenseman Nick Perbix scored a goal and set up another in a 4-3 loss to the University of Nebraska-Omaha on Dec. 21.

The 21-year-old (6-2, 191), who was selected by the Tampa Bay Lightning in the sixth round (No. 169) of the 2017 NHL Draft, was named to the NCHC All-Rookie team last season.

His younger brother Jack, selected by the Anaheim Ducks in the fourth round (No. 116) of the 2018 draft, plays for the University of Minnesota.


Brink does his part

Freshman forward Bobby Brink was front and center when the University of Denver swept Colorado College on Dec. 20-21 to reclaim the Gold Pan trophy in the annual series between in-state rivals that started in 1950.

Brink (5-8, 159) assisted on Emilio Pettersen's game-winning goal in a 3-0 win on Dec. 20, then scored the first goal of the game in 3-1 win the next night. He has 13 points (seven goals, six assists) in 18 games.

Selected in the second round (No. 34) by the Philadelphia Flyers in the 2019 NHL Draft, the 18-year-old was named to the preliminary World Junior roster by the Americans. 


Rasanen revival

Junior Aapeli Rasanen is coming into his own for Boston College.

The 21-year-old center has 17 points (eight goals, nine assists) in 15 games after scoring seven points (five goals, two assists) in 33 games last season, and 16 (four goals, 12 assists) in 32 games in 2017-18 as a freshman.

Rasanen (6-0, 208) was selected by the Edmonton Oilers in the sixth round (No. 153) of the 2016 NHL Draft. He played for Finland in the World Junior Championships in 2017 and 2018.

In Boston College's most recent game, he scored a goal and an assist in a 6-1 win at Notre Dame on Dec. 8. It was Boston College's ninth straight win.

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