The Bruins, you might say, are in Brett Harrison’s blood.
On Saturday, B’s third-round pick (85th overall pick) Harrison, became a huge Black and Gold fan. Not only did he play for the OHL team, Oshawa, which has a historical connection with the Bee – a certain No. 4 who played for the Generals – but Harrison’s grandfather Ed was a best friend of the late Bruins defenseman Gary Doak. His father is a good friend with B’s prospect and former General Jack Studnick’s father.
And with Harrison being a dominant two-way centerman, it’s easy to guess who his favorite NHL player is, none other than Saturday birthday boy Patrice Bergeron.
Needless to say, Harrison was thrilled to receive B’s call.
“I’ve always been a fan of the Bruins. It just ran through the family,” Harrison said. “It was like a dream come true when I saw my name come up. It’s something I’ll never forget.”
Had the 6-foot-2, 185-pound Harrison been allowed his natural growth and progress, there’s a chance he would never have been in the 85th slot. But as with all aspects of life, COVID-19 stepped in. He had a very good rookie season with Oshawa (21-16-37 totals in 58 games in 2019-20). But as the OHL continued to linger and delay its 2020-21 season, Harrison scrambled with his representatives and decided to fly to Finland to play some time. He got involved in eight games before things took off. He returned to Canada to quarantine for a few weeks before moving to Texas to play in the U18 World Championships, where he scored two goals in seven games for Canada and more data of B.
“It’s been a tough year for everyone, but I’ve tried to make the best out of any situation and I’ve got to further my development in Finland and in the U18 tournament as well, so I need to continue to develop and perform.” myself,” said Harrison. “During the offseason, I have lived here in London, Ontario, working out and on the ice four times a week, working on my skills and skating. I am.”
One of the great cliches of draft day is when a talent appraiser steps up on stage and says, “We couldn’t believe this player was still available.” But in Harrison’s case, it may be true. With his size, shot and head for the game, Harrison is a player who, with a full season, can run very well compared to the third round.
“He was a kid who scored a lot in the OHL as a young age,” said Ryan Nadeau, associate director of amateur scouting. “With them not playing this year, yes, it is difficult. But he went abroad for a while and we saw him there and then he came back and he played in U18, he played in a real deep gold medal winning Canadian team. For us, it was a position to get a big scoring center, which in some way or the other we think will play a big part in the OHL. To be able to get that kind of player where we were picking, I think he was a little bit hurt by the situation. …but challenges do present some opportunities and I think for us, being able to achieve that, we were definitely excited about.
There’s a lot to like about Harrison’s game. He can play all three forward positions, touch around the net and is smart for the game.
However, his skating has been the subject of criticism, and Harrison admits it is something he has heard and is working to improve it.
“I’m going through a lot this summer,” Harrison said. “I’ve been on the ice with my power skating coach two, three times a week. We’re working to tone down our stance and be more explosive. And from a stable position, a quick three to win puck race Getting the move.” …
B took a total of seven players – three Swedish players, two OHL players and two from the US National Program who would come to Boston to play college hockey.
In the fourth round, B picked Swedish goalkeeper Philipp Swedbach, a 6-foot-3′ tender who had recently played for a Vaxjo team that had seen a lot of rubber. He will go to Dubuque of the USHL.
Bee continued to grab 5-foot-11 left-wing Swede Oscar Jelvik in the home field of PJ Axelson, whose best attribute may be his vision and creativity.
With his sixth-round pick, B’s back end went for shape, catching 6-foot-4, 215-pound defenseman Ryan Mast off the Sarnia Sting.
And finally, with his two seventh-round picks, he won the 6-foot-4, Los Angeles-born center Andre Gaseau, a Boston College commit, and two-sided defender Ty Gallagher, who is going to Boston University and won the distinction. He holds the record for most goals scored by a defender in national program history.
“When you go into any draft, you have the best player type of thinking available, especially early on, and as the draft progressed, we were able to hit a bunch of spots,” Nadeau said. “We went to the excitement, high-end offense (with first-round pick Fabian Lisel), we got some shape in the middle, we picked up a goalie, then we went back into more momentum and offense, then a big strong D-Man. After that, then a big centerman who has come a long way… We have entered some different areas in terms of the league as well.”