Red-hot Harkins in perfect spot
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Hey there, time traveller!
This article was published 18/11/2019 (1104 days ago), so information in it may no longer be current.
MANITOBA Moose centreman Jansen Harkins is quickly developing into one of the best playmakers in the AHL.
The 22-year-old, who was selected in the second round of the 2015 NHL draft by the Winnipeg Jets, has registered a point in nine straight games to give him the longest active scoring streak in the league.
“I’m just playing pretty good hockey,” said Harkins, who was born in Cleveland, Ohio, but grew up and resides in Vancouver. “Just getting bounces. The team’s been doing well, so getting that amount of chances, it kind of helps out. You eventually kind of squeak one out every game and yeah, it’s been going pretty well.”
In 70 games with the Moose last season, Harkins registered 31 points. But in only 17 games this season, he finds himself not too far behind his 2018-19 point total. Harkins currently leads the Moose in points with five goals and 15 assists.
Only Lucas Elvenes of the Chicago Wolves has more assists (20).
Harkins, who’s in his second full season with the Moose, said towards the end of last season he was starting to get more comfortable at the professional level. With an increase in ice time and being switched from the wing to his natural position at centre, Harkins has been able to carry the momentum into the 2019-20 campaign.
“It’s big any time you can kind of get some minutes in and in some different situations,” said Harkins, who played junior hockey for the WHL’s Prince George Cougars.
“I’m playing a bit more in kind of defensive situations this year, which I hadn’t really gotten the chance to do too much the past few years. That’s exciting for me that the coaches kind of trust me out there like that. That’s important moving forward, making sure I’m sound in both zones.”
Moose head coach Pascal Vincent said he’s not surprised to see Harkins take such a big step this season. He said Harkins has been putting in the work and is being rewarded for his efforts.
“We gave him an opportunity. Sometimes the door gets open for you and you take advantage of it, or not, and he did,” Vincent said.
“This year, he’s in the middle, he’s playing with more offensive players, more minutes, he’s taken advantage of those opportunities. But at the end of the day, what I know for sure is the time he spent in the gym and studying the game, and spending time with the assistant coaches learning what needs to be done at this level. His own investment in himself, that’s the product we’re seeing right now.”
Harkins seems to be in the perfect spot right now, as his key role with the Moose is providing him with valuable experience and helping him develop his game. Harkins is aware of that and he’s not stressing about when his first call-up to the Jets will be.
“I’m just trying to play consistently,” Harkins said. “I think I still got things I can improve on and I’m working with the coaches. So, just go from there and hopefully it comes.”
— Taylor Allen
Eighteen years old and still in high school, Taylor got his start with the Free Press on June 1, 2011. Well, sort of...