(Raleigh) Jordan Harris is skating these days with the Canadiens logo on his chest, and to him, that’s no surprise. Because that has always been his goal.
Posted yesterday at 5:35 p.m.
Yes, the young man who appeared before the Montreal media on Wednesday afternoon in Raleigh looked like a young man who wanted to be there.
Of course, there were rumours, too many rumours, that suggested he might never come to wear that jersey. The negotiations were going to be difficult, complicated… but no, he is definitely there, with that big smile on his face, which reminds us that he couldn’t see himself anywhere else.
My idea has always been to come and play here after my four years at university. I wanted to graduate, it was super important to me. I may have been a little hesitant when there were changes in the management of the Canadiens, but with Jeff [Gorton]Kent [Hughes] and Martin [St-Louis]I told myself that I was going to fit in very well with this team.
So here he is, there he is, this much talked about 21-year-old defenseman, who has only one course left to complete online, after which he will earn that valuable degree from Northeastern University.
Harris arrives at the Canadian after a season of 20 points in 39 games in the university ranks, and it was enough for the machine to race and the most enthusiastic see in him a kind of cross between Bobby Orr and Larry Robinson, if that’s even humanly possible.
All that to say that, yes, there are expectations, and Martin St-Louis knows it all too well. By the way, the coach already has “a plan” in mind, as he repeated, and it’s going to start like this: “By integrating Jordan slowly…”
Which means, if we understand correctly, that this defender is not going to start playing 24 and 25 minutes a night when he leaves. And then, by the way, we don’t even know the date of his first game, but we know, on the other hand, that the next Canadian is scheduled for Thursday night against the Carolina Hurricanes.
In all this, the young man is not too out of place.
I’ve known Kent for quite a while now, and when I was younger I played against his son Riley, because we’re the same age. Kent was always the coach of the Boston Junior Eagles in minor hockey, so when I was younger, I didn’t like him very much, because we always played against them, and they had good teams! But he was a good family friend over time, and I got to play Northeastern with Riley and his other son, Jack.
Of course, between NCAA college hockey and NHL college hockey, there is a step. A very big step, which is not so easy to take, especially for defenders. But the main interested party swears that he is ready.
“It’s a big step to take, but I’m confident…I’m excited to learn as much as I can in this league. I’ve only just arrived, and it’s been like a whirlwind for me; I joined the club in Florida [lundi] and it happened very quickly. There were palm trees and big boats, I’m a guy from Boston who’s not used to that and this heat…”
But he will have to get used to it. To the heat, to all that, to the spotlight that will be shone on him. As he leaves, he swears he won’t spend too much time on social media seeing what people are saying about him. Then, he intends to make his place by betting on his skating, his greatest quality as a player, in his own opinion.
Idols? Not so much, but there are players who will serve as a source of inspiration for him: Cam Fowler, Matt Grzelcyk, Miro Heiskanen… “Left-handers who move well and also circulate the puck well”, he summarized .
There will be pressure. He knows it. But if Harris keeps that smile and that obvious confidence, you should be fine. “I’m just going to try to play to the best of my abilities,” he added. I’m nervous, sure! But I think it will get easier and easier over time…”
High step for Justin Barron
Justin Barron has just played his first two games with the Canadiens, and the young defender has already achieved something: between the American League and the National League, the step is quite high. “I still have to make adjustments to my game, and it will take a little time, explained the former first choice of the Colorado Avalanche. The speed of the game is not the same in the NHL, and also, there is that all the players in this league are bigger and stronger. For me, the biggest adjustment is probably in terms of puck protection, because you have to try to fend off the opponents. »
No Trace of Jake Evans
Evans, who rocked the tape Tuesday night at Sunrise, did not take part in practice Wednesday afternoon in Raleigh. No other information has been released about him, but his case seems very questionable in view of Thursday night’s game against the Hurricanes. Ryan Poehling, out since the March 13 game, was in practice but won’t be ready for Thursday night’s return against the Hurricanes. Tyler Pitlick was also back in training, this time with a full visor.