With highly-touted Montreal Canadiens prospect Jordan Harris set to partake in his final NCAA Championships, could he turn pro as soon as next week if the Northeastern University Huskies are eliminated this weekend?
The answer is likely. Montreal Canadiens general manager Kent Hughes has spoken at length about his relationship with Jordan Harris over the last 10+ years and feels confident that the Canadiens prospect will ultimately sign with the team once his NCAA season comes to an end. Hughes’ belief will be put to the test, as Harris’ season could end as soon as this weekend.
Hughes and Montreal Canadiens management have been adamant in their pursuit for Harris and their desire to have him sign with the Canadiens to finish out the year. Harris would have an advantage in signing with Montreal immediately, as he would be able to burn the first year of his two-year entry-level contract right away. Should he forgo signing with the Canadiens and sign with another team after the August 15 deadline, his rights would expire, and he would have to sign a two-year contract effective only for the 2022-2023 season, thereby delaying earning potential by a year.
Hughes has known Harris for a long while and hopes that Harris will feel comfortable joining the Canadiens now that the former player agent, as well as former coach, is at the organization’s helm.
“We’ve talked about what the opportunity would be in Montreal, for him if he chooses to sign,” said Hughes during a Montreal Canadiens roundtable this week.” He’s an impending free agent if he doesn’t sign with us., but our hope is that he does. We laid out what we’re trying to do with the organization, what our plan is and how we see him fitting in. I’ve known Jordan for a long time. I’ve coached Jordan, and I know his family; he’s played with and against my oldest son since they were seven or eight years of age. Hopefully, that familiarity works in our favour.”
With Marc-Antoine Godin of The Athletic reporting that the chances are very high that Harris eventually signs with the Montreal Canadiens, it would not be outlandish to say that Harris could indeed be a Canadien by this time next week, should Northeastern fall in their upcoming elimination games this weekend.
The captain opens up the scoring!
— Northeastern Men’s Hockey (@GoNUmhockey) January 18, 2022
The Northeastern Huskies begin their march to the Frozen Four on Friday, March 25, as they try to upset the top-seeded Western Michigan Broncos. If Northeastern is able to get by the Broncos in the first game, they would be met with another massive challenge in the next round, as they’d have to play the winner of the contest between the Minnesota Golden Gophers and defending champions University of Massachusetts Minutemen on March 27.
However, one should never count out Northeastern. They have the defence, led by Harris and fellow Canadiens prospect Jayden Struble, and elite goaltending from Buffalo Sabres prospect Devon Levi to create a few upsets. Nonetheless, Western Michigan is a pretty strong team and will be a very strong test for Harris and the Huskies right off the bat.
Should Northeastern prevail over the weekend and win their two regional games, they would move on to the Frozen Four in Boston on April 7.
Here’s the full schedule of the NCAA National Hockey Championships below
Here's the schedule for this year's NCAA National Hockey Championships.
— Montreal Hockey Now (@MTLhockeynow) March 23, 2022