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Tuesday, March 27, 2012

Jansen Harkins - NSWC Player Profile

Jansen Harkins             
North Shore Winter Club Winterhawks
5’10.5 160 Center

Game Video - Courtesy from our pals at Scoutreels

Previous Interview - Prior to John Reid Memorial Tournament
First off, talk a bit about where you played your minor hockey and some of the personal and team highlights that stick out for you so far?
My entire minor hockey has been played at NSWC, it’s like a second home too me now. One of my first highlights was when we went to Quebec twice in peewee, it was a great experience. This year we have had a lot of great team experiences and highlights. Obviously were not the same team from last year, this year we have made a huge jump forward; winning Chilliwack and then in Medicine Hat we played very well until the finals. This has helped me get the MVP in Medicine Hat which has got to be my biggest individual award!  I'm very proud of the team this year and were not going to stop working hard and getting better.

Your season has been tremendous and included in that a MVP award at the Medicine Hat tournament. What do you think has been the biggest reason for that type of success early on?
Well I have played well individually but I wouldn't be where I'm at without my team. Especially my line- mates Nash Dabb and Quinn Benjifeild. Another reason are the coaches, they are great coaches and put me in positions where I can succeed. This year I have been trying to be the best I can be defensively, my mindset is that if I play well defensively I will get those offensive chances. With that I think my biggest asset to my success with my line mates is the way we read off of each other and move the puck. So individually my ability to see the ice is one of my biggest assets to my game, as well with reading the play. These things have leaded me to where I'm at with my goal scoring and offensive abilities and will keep doing them.

This year, your NSWC squad have taken a huge jump and have become one of the top teams in western Canada. What do you think makes your team so successful?
We have been paying great all season, and there has been lots of work that goes into our team’s success. For one, our Coaches are great, they have taught me personally so much these past two years and same with all the other players. As a team we play for each other, which I think makes us want to win and be successful so much more. Anybody on our team would do anything for each other, were all like brothers which makes us a very tight group. We are all focused on the ultimate goal at the end of the day as well, to win and to play as well as we can. Which makes us a top team, we like being the underdog always have been this year and will keep proving ourselves - I know that.

Being one of the top ranked prospects for the WHL bantam draft, there will be numerous scouts watching you now. Is this something you think about and what would it mean to be drafted high in the WHL bantam draft to you?
I think it’s definitely at the back of everybody's minds for sure, but I try to just block it out and just play. It’s the way I play that has gotten me here, I'm not going to change my style of play because I'm worrying about something. I’m going to improve my game thinking about the draft but not change it. Yes well I think it would be a great success for anyone to get drafted high. Obviously I want to excel my game to highest possible level to be able to get drafted as high as I can. I am definitely looking forward to it, but I have lots of other short term goals to lead up to it.

What would you describe as some of your main hockey strengths and conversely which weaknesses are you currently working on?
I believe my play making skills and ability to see and read the ice is one of my top assets. Then my goal scoring has been very good lately as I’ve been able to find those quite spaces on the ice. Well I can improve all of my game, to be better as a player. There is always room to improve, every day at practice or on the ice I try to improve something, doesn't matter if it’s my skating, my hands, shot - I’m always open to making myself better.

If you could pick an NHL player to model your game after, who would it be and why?
I would pick Ryan Kesler, and Sydney Crosby. I try to model myself after both of their best parts of their game. Ryan Kesler and his defensive game, the way he is such a hard worker and his ability to score with his shot and speed.
Sydney Crosby and his passing and the way he sees and reads the ice. I also his puck protection and how he never gives up, and the way he can score, and finally his leadership ability.

You have some NHL bloodlines with your father Todd Harkins having some experience at that level. How do you feel this type of knowledge he provides has helped you?
Yes allot! My dad has taught me so many things ever since I started playing hockey. His advice and lessons about the way I play and what I need to do to be better has helped my game in so many ways. Since he has been there before he knows what I’ve gone through to play and understands my game and improves it. He is very intense and it’s a little tough sometimes, but I need it to play as well as I can. He has taught me to hate losing, to play my best every night, to be the best I can consistently. The impact he has had on my game has tremendous upside and I’m determined to make him proud.

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