Waiting his turn!

Jansen Harkins can tell you first-hand what that is like.

The Prince George Cougars all-time leader in points (242) and assists (167) has demonstrated an ability or willingness to suppress restlessness or annoyance when confronted with delay.

In other words, “patience” has paid off for the 23-year-old forward from North Vancouver.

Let’s take you back to the 2015 NHL Draft held June 26-27 at the BB&T Center in Sunrise, Florida.

In the year where Connor McDavid went first overall, Harkins was ranked 15th among North American skaters by Central Scouting.

With that high of a ranking, Harkins was expected to be selected on the first day of the draft which is for players picked in the first round.

That never happened.

Instead, he had to wait until the Winnipeg Jets, with the 17th pick in round two and 47th overall announced they were taking the 6-foot-2, 195 pound Harkins, who at the time was the reigning MVP of the Cougars.

After playing more than 150 games for the Jets farm team, the Manitoba Moose, Harkins was called up to Winnipeg in the 2019-20 pandemic season where he suited up for 29 games, notching two goals and five assists.

He made his NHL regular-season debut in St. Paul against the Minnesota Wild on December 21.

When the playoffs started, Harkins was a healthy scratch for the Jets in the opener of the best-of-five qualifying series against Calgary.

In that 4-1 Flames victory, the Jets lost two key forwards to injury, Patrik Laine and Mark Schiefele.

That opened the door for the patient Harkins to be inserted into the lineup for game two and it did not take long for his presence to be felt.

Just 7:18 into his first Stanley Cup post-season game, Harkins opened the scoring, helping the Jets to a 3-2 victory.

“You want to make a difference and getting the chance to play and getting some ice time is a lot more fun than watching the team go out there and work,” said Harkins, who because of that goal finished the game a plus 1 in 9:29 of ice time.

The Jets coach, Paul Maurice, was asked by the media about Harkins who was named the Moose team MVP in June after recording 31 points in 30 games.

“I don’t know if I have had a player that has been given less opportunity and stayed the fight and competed as hard as he has. He doesn’t have ten guys banging on the table for him because he is not the first-overall pick, he’s been given nothing here.”

Harkins did not have the same kind of magic touch in the next two games as the Jets were eliminated.

On Tuesday, in the 6-2 loss, he did not pick up a point and was minus 2 while playing 11 minutes and 50 seconds.

Last night (Thursday), in the 4-0 loss, Harkins had his most playing time in three games against the Flames
at 14 minutes and five seconds and was minus 1.

Playing the entire series in Edmonton in a “bubble” environment brought back memories of his minor hockey days.

“I’ve seen pretty much every player on every team since I have been here but there are some teams you see a lot more than others but it’s kind of strange walking side by side and eating across from each other that you’ve been battling with on the ice.”

“You kind of compare to any other tournament you have played in being at one location going from the rink back to the hotel. There are some good restaurants and common areas we can hang out at but it kind of brings you back to when you were younger playing youth hockey.”

Harkins comes from a close-knit family where hockey often dominates the conversation.

His season is now over but Jets coach Maurice sees a long-term future.

“I think what you got with Hark is a guy that’s going to get into the National Hockey League and he’s probably not going to come out for about 14 years. Young players don’t understand the value of an opportunity but Jansen Harkins is the exception to that rule.”

 

FROM THE QUOTE RACK

And they said the Marlins’ fielders couldn’t catch anything.

*Comedy writer Alex Kaseberg, after at least 18 Miami Marlins players tested positive for COVID-19

I’m so old I remember the days that positive tests meant PEDs.

*Comedy writer Janice Hough of Palo Alto, California www.leftcoastsportsbabe.com

Two cardboard cutouts at a San Francisco Giants game were taken away in handcuffs—they were wanted in connection with several local freeway carpool lane violations.

*Contributor Bill Littlejohn of South Lake Tahoe, California

It took LA Dodgers personnel five innings the other day to realize the cardboard cutout of Larry King in the stands was actually the real thing.

*Contributor Marc Ragovin of New York

Kansas City Chiefs QB Patrick Mahomes just bought an ownership stake in the MLB Royals. For those of you keeping score at home, it’s now the Royals and 31 NFL teams that he owns.

*Dwight Perry of the Seattle Times http://www.seattletimes.com/author/dwight-perry/

IN CASE, YOU MISSED IT:

German coach Joachim Low has reportedly allowed his Euro squads to have conjugal visits. And they say there’s no scoring in soccer?

*Canadian comedy writer RJ Currie www.Sportsdeke.com

Hartley Miller is the news and sports supervisor and morning news anchor for 94.3 the GOAT and Country 97.
He also is the 94.3 the Goat radio colour commentator for P.G. Cougars home games.
His column appears Fridays on myprincegeorgenow.com.
Send along a quote, note, or anecdote to hmiller@thegoatrocks.ca