Wednesday, July 1, 2015

Scott Harrington Jersey Card

So, crazy free agent market, eh?

Too bad all the so-called ''experts'' only had the Phil Kessel trade on their minds...

Kessel is probably still one of the NHL's top-5 shooters. And so much has been said about his physical shape, effort level (or lack thereof), and disdain for the media that I won't go at lengths about it here, but with centers like Evgeni Malkin and Sidney Crosby, he may very well (and definitely should) reach the 40-goal plateau for the first time in his career with the Pittsburgh Penguins.

After all was said and done, apart from draft picks, Kessel, defenseman Tim Erixon (already on his fifth team since 2011-12 and fourth since 2014) and forward Tyler Biggs will make their way to the Pens, while defenseman Scott Harrington, and forwards Kasperi Kapanen and Nick Spaling will head to the Toronto Maple Leafs, who also signed P.A. Parenteau and brought back Daniel Winnick to the fold today.

My focus today will be on former London Knights captain Harrington, a ''character'' defenseman who is merely 22 years old. London has one of the best Juniors programs in Canada, headed by the Hunter brothers (Mark is now a Leafs executive, Dale Hunter is back coaching), so Harrington learned to develop a complete game from a relatively young age.

He was considered a two-way defenseman in the OHL/CHL, but his offensive statistics were actually better at the AHL level with the Wilkes-Barre/Scranton Penguins (24 points in 76 games in 2013-14 and 12 points in 48 games in 2014-15) than in London (81 points in 206 games from 2009-13), so his game's improving.

And yet, the 54th-overall pick of the 2011 draft was always seen as a tall (6'2''), built (205 pounds so far), smooth-skating, positionally-sound, smart player. If he can put points up on the board as well, he'll turn into much more than many had envisioned him becoming.

Internationally, he's suited up for Team Canada, winning silver for Team Ontario at the 2010 U-17s and bronze at the 2012 World Juniors, and with a fourth-place finish at the 2013 World Juniors, where he was sporting the alternate captain's ''A''.

But the ''C'' remains a definite possibility in the future, as can be attested by this card showing him with the Knights' black uniform, from In The Game's 2012-13 Heroes And Prospects set (#M-35 of the Game-Used Jersey sub-set, the Black Version variant):

It contains a huge white-beige swatch. I got it in a trade a year or two ago, with other CHL jersey cards going both ways.

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