The Winnipeg Jets have agreed to terms with 23-year-old forward Jansen Harkins on a two-year, one-way deal, carrying an average annual value of $725K. The first-year Jets winger earned a call-up to the big leagues following an exceptionally productive start to his 2019-20 American Hockey League season.
Through his first 30 games with the Manitoba Moose, the North Vancouver product put up seven goals 24 assists for 31 points, to go alongside 28 penalty minutes and a +4 rating, before being recalled by the big club, where he remained for the duration of the season.
“I remember sending him down at the end of training camp thinking to myself, ‘this guy has done almost everything he possibly can for himself’,” Jets head coach Paul Maurice said in the postseason, following Harkins’ first career playoff goal.
“I’m not saying he was ready to play in the NHL, but he was bigger, stronger, faster and he was starting to piss all of the veteran guys off in camp, just because he wouldn’t come off it,” Maurice added. “He wouldn’t come off it in practice; he was still finishing checks and grinding. The older guys are getting ready for the season and they don’t want to get popped in practice. But when he came in, he made the most of those opportunities.”
With Winnipeg, Harkins suited up in 29 regular season games, scoring twice and adding five assists for seven points and five penalty minutes, before scoring that aforementioned first postseason tally in his three playoff games in the Jets’ 2020 Qualifying Round matchup against the Calgary Flames.
Drafted 47th overall in the second round of the 2015 NHL Entry Draft, the 6-foot-2, 195-pound winger had a productive four-year Western Hockey League career with the Prince George Cougars. In 275 regular season games, the Cougars’ alternate captain collected 75 goals, 242 points and 164 penalty minutes, before adding another four goals, 16 points and 16 penalty minutes in 15 playoff games.