Jets add Jansen Harkins, centre from Prince George Cougars, in round two of NHL draft

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SUNRISE, Fla – The Winnipeg Jets continued to mine the USHL and other spots all over the hockey map to add to their prospect pool right to the last name they called out at the 2015 NHL Draft.

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Hey there, time traveller!
This article was published 27/06/2015 (2610 days ago), so information in it may no longer be current.

SUNRISE, Fla – The Winnipeg Jets continued to mine the USHL and other spots all over the hockey map to add to their prospect pool right to the last name they called out at the 2015 NHL Draft.

The Jets grabbed Jansen Harkins, a 6’1″, 181 centre from the Prince George Cougars 47th overall. He had been ranked 21st by The Hockey News in their annual draft guide and was a projected first rounder on most mock drafts.

“It’s exciting,” said Harkins. “You wait pretty much your whole life for this day. I know this is going to get harder, but this is the start of my NHL career and I’m very happy with Winnipeg and hopefully I can prove them right with their pick.

Peter Power / The Canadian Press Jansen Harkins (right), of the Prince George Cougars, defends during the third period of the CHL Top Prospects game in St. Catharines, Ontario in January.

“(Friday) was tough. You can’t really expect to go first round, but I was pretty optimistic and thought I would be. It was a tough night, but obviously this is probably one of the most-exciting days of my life and I’m excited to get going with the Jets.”

Harkins had 20 goals and 59 assists in 70 games this past year. His father is Todd Harkins, a former NHLer, who also served as the Cougars GM. He described himself as a two-way centre, a guy who grew up idolizing Ryan Kesler.

The Jets used their third-round pick, 78th overall, to select Erik Foley, a left winger from Cedar Rapids of the USHL. Foley, 5’11”, 172, had 27 goals and 27 assists in 55 games last year as a rookie. He’ll be attending Providence College next year.

“There’s a lot of relief having your name called,” said Foley. “I’m just happy I could cherish it with my family.”

Red Line Report scout and New England Hockey Journal writer Kirk Luedeke raved about Foley in a recent Boston Herald article, stating:

“This kid is probably the story of the draft — a kid that nobody really knows about except the people who have scouted him. He’s your prototypical power forward; he plays a very heavy game below the circles and he’s extremely strong. Being an Army guy, Foley’s the kind of kid I’d go to war with in a heartbeat. I’d want him in the foxhole next to me. If he wasn’t playing hockey, he’d probably be leading a Navy SEAL team.”

And with their fourth-round pick, 108th overall, the Jets selected right winger Michael Spacek. He played last season with Pardubice in the Czech Republic’s top league, scoring five goals and adding seven assists in 40 games. He hopes to join a CHL team for the coming season.

“I’m a good skater, great vision and the passing play are my strengths,” said Spacek, through a translator.

And then, mimicking stickhandling and shooting with his hands, he added in English: “And shooting.”

The Jets selected Mason Appleton in the sixth round, 168th overall, a centreman from Tri-City in the USHL and then had two picks in the seventh. Going 198th overall was Finnish defenceman Sami Niku while Matteo Gennaro, a centre with the Prince Albert Raiders, was the final pick, at 203rd overall.

“We’ve added a lot of skill to the organization throughout the course of the two days here,” said Jets GM Kevin Cheveldayoff. “Certainly, we added a lot of depth at centre, a little bit on the wing. Maybe not as much on defence as we had maybe set out and planned to, but when you’re at the table that’s how some things fall. And when there’s players scouts are passionate about drafting, those are the ones you draft.”

ed.tait@freepress.mb.ca

Twitter: @WFPEdTait

History

Updated on Saturday, June 27, 2015 10:41 AM CDT: Updated

Updated on Saturday, June 27, 2015 1:19 PM CDT: Updated

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