Three of the Penguins top-10 prospects, Olli Maatta, Finland, Scott Harrington, Canada, and Teddy Blueger, Latvia, are participating in the World Championships in Russia and all three were in action today.
Canada 9 – Germany 3: Harrington was a +3 and had an assist in the win.
Today’s writeup on Team Canada defenseman Scott Harrington, the Penguins 2011 second round pick:
Harrington one of Canada’s top defensive defensemen, had a good but not great performance in Canada’s 9-3 win. Harrington played a second pairing role at even strength and a top pairing role on the penalty kill, an area he’s relied on heavily for Team Canada.
Harrington was on the ice for Canada’s first two goals against of the game, a power play maker with 32 seconds left in the first period and an even strength goal at 16:22 of the second. On the power play goal, Harrington got somewhat out of position, pinching on the side wall which led to a breakdown for Canada on the PK. It was one of the few bad defensive moments for him in the game. On Germany’s second goal of the game at 16:22 of the second period, Canada got caught for a sloppy change and Harrington played no part in the breakdown as he just stepped on the ice after a bad change from a teammate.
Scouts Buzz: Harrington doesn’t have great size and the one concern from scouts about his NHL potential is eventual struggles in clearing front of the net against bigger, stronger players, an area Harrington can be exploited at times even at the junior level. Wasn’t an issue against the German’s today but evaluators feel he has to get more aggressive and nastier in clearing the front of the net/tough areas forwards don’t like to go.
Here’s What Stood out with Harrington vs Germany: His shot blocking prowess was really on display vs Germany. Harrington had four blocked shots in the first period and he plays low to the ice. In watching him I’ve often seen similarities to Rob Scuderi and I saw that again today.
Harrington is agile and on the PK is very effective at quickly going down on one knee to block a shot or prevent a passing lane. He also used his stick very well in taking away passing lanes today. What caught my eye is Harrington has such good hockey sense that shooters think they have a lane to get a shot on goal but Harrington gets down at the perfect time to get a piece of the puck that good shot blockers do.
In the transition game, Harrington showed a good first pass, fitting the scouting report on him that he wouldn’t be a liability in a Dan Bylsma type system.