Jordan Harris Extension Brings Great Value For Canadiens
The Montreal Canadiens announced the team agreed to terms with rookie defenceman Jordan Harris on a two-year contract extension that will come with a $1.4 million annual average value.
The 22-year-old was in the last year of his entry-level contract, which only lasted two seasons, seeing as Harris was 21 years old when he signed his first professional contract out of the NCAA.
The Canadiens have agreed to terms on a two-year contract extension (2023-24 to 2024-25) with defenseman Jordan Harris. #GoHabsGo pic.twitter.com/aKE35bzLEV
— Canadiens Montréal (@CanadiensMTL) February 10, 2023
The new contract is set to count for slightly more than 1.7 percent of the Canadiens’ total salary cap hit next season, an incredibly reasonable extension from an asset management point of view.
Harris has one goal and 10 assists in 11 games this season, good for ninth overall in defenceman rookie scoring this season.
But it’s the context in which he produces those points that is the most impressive aspect of his season. 10 of his 11 points have come during 5v5 play, the 5th best result among all defensive rookies this year.
His underlying numbers paint a very encouraging picture.
Of course, we must keep in mind playing on a team with a bevy of rookies that is slated to finish near the bottom of the standings is always a difficult task.
Harris’ on-ice counts are decent, not great. But if we check out his results relative to his teammates, Harris’ impact becomes clear.
Jordan Harris’ goal pic.twitter.com/lX6E3qqJ3j
— Habs Fan TV (@habsfantv_) November 18, 2022
He’s currently second on the team in terms of relative expected goals for (rel. xGF%) with 5.74 and is only one of three defencemen that have produced a rel. xGF% that is above zero.
Unsurprisingly, Jonathan Kovacevic and Mike Matheson are the other two defencemen with positive results on the list.
Matheson isn’t particularly surprising, given his track record and affinity for driving the play up the ice with control of the puck.
Kovacevic may be a little more shocking, but he and Harris have formed the Canadiens’ most reliable pairing throughout the majority of the season, controlling over 50 percent of the shots (CF%) whenever they’re on the ice, not to mention, almost 50 percent of the expected goals.
Jordan Harris has also shown he can generate chemistry with the vast majority of the players on the Canadiens’ blueline. The sample sizes are rather small, but Harris has produced positive numbers alongside Matheson, Kaiden Guhle, and even Joel Edmundson.
He’s also displayed the type of high-end decision-making that usually takes several years in the NHL to perfect, an incredibly encouraging sign for both Harris and the Canadiens.
Kent Hughes gave the rookie an opportunity, and from the very get-go, Harris seized his chance despite playing in a very difficult situation.
A two-year contract extension could be seen as a reward for Harris’ strong play, but in reality, the cerebral defenceman earned it by playing with the instincts of a 10-year veteran on most nights.
All statistics are 5v5 unless otherwise noted, via NaturalStatTrick.
All contract information via CapFriendly.
Are any of the other young D guys up for a new contract? If so, who and how long/much do you predict they’ll get?
MSL play both Harris and Kovacevic together for the rest of the season so that they continue to build the chemistry heading into next year.