Kris Baker of SabresProspects.com has submitted his annual rankings of the top 30 draft-eligible prospects. Check back each day as we prepare for the 2015 NHL Draft at BB&T Center in Sunrise, Florida on June 26-27.
#25 - JANSEN HARKINS
|(Photo Credit: Getty Images) |
Center, Prince George (WHL)
6’0.5”, 184 lbs.
The Cougars’ leading point-getter with 79 points (20+59) in 70 games, Harkins is your prototypical safe pick who is always involved at both ends of the rink. He consistently makes the smart play and works extremely well with his linemates.
Elements of playmaking skill and grit are present in the package groomed by his father Todd, a former NHL forward who played 48 games with Calgary and Hartford in the early 1990 and also serves as General Manager of the Prince George franchise.
Harkins endeared himself to the scouting community over the past two seasons with his puck management ability, proficiency at the face-off circle and overall work ethic.
He goes equally hard on the backcheck as he does on the forecheck and while not an overly physical presence, Harkins performs extremely well in 1-on-1 battles along the wall. Scouts have Harkins targeted as a solid middle-line anchor down the road due to his complete style and three-zone commitment.
While a detailed offensive catalyst at the junior level, Harkins has clearly added strength needed to succeed as a professional, but he must continue to smooth out some kinks in his skating stride in order achieve his NHL potential.
Regardless, the well-rounded style that made him the second overall pick in the 2012 WHL Bantam Draft has only become more effective over the course of his first two junior seasons, making Harkins a solid first-round selection for the team that calls his name.
For more on all the youngsters in the Sabres pipeline, check out Kris Baker’s website, SabresProspects.com. You can also follow him on Twitter (@SabresProspects) for in-game updates throughout the week on any Buffalo prospects that are in action.