London Knights defenceman Scott Harrington is set up for one hectic hockey season.
He’s London’s undisputed leader and voice of reason, its anchor as captain. He’s also in line to play top-pairing minutes for Team Canada at the 2013 world juniors. And, he’s a key talking point for Pittsburgh Penguins management during the lockout, as no NHL means more attention paid to promising prospects.
“I think about that every day,” the 19-year-old from Kingston said, speaking about the doom-and-gloom state of the work stoppage.
If the NHL’s owners and players’ association come to an agreement, Harrington and teammate Olli Maatta will likely be whisked off to Pennsylvania for main camp with the pros. It could be in the middle of the OHL schedule, at some point down the stretch, or never.
They’re not in a unique situation, with dozens of other drafted major junior players left guessing as well. In Knights land, though, Harrington’s absence would throw things off-kilter in a big way.
His maturity as not only a player, but also as a person, puts him on a peerless pedestal. Look no further than this year’s captaincy voting, where the fourth-year OHLer ran away with the C in unanimous fashion. To boot, he was voted the Western Conference’s “smartest player” in a coaches’ poll late last season.
Six games in, the no-frills blueliner is enjoying a solid start, continuing to stamp his trademark of mistake-free play on the majority of shifts. He has yet to score, but has three assists and is a plus-6. He’s also only picked up one minor penalty so far this season.
Harrington has added another tool to his belt in 2012-13, too.
“It’s a part of my game I haven’t worked on much,” Harrington said of joining the rush more often than ever before. “Every year, you get an opportunity to get more and more comfortable in the league, and it allows you to work on other aspects of your game.”
Like Jarred Tinordi before him, it doesn’t look like the current Knights captain will be gunning for the scoring title amongst OHL defencemen. The 6-foot-1, 202-pounder may reach a career-high in points, however, which would be impressive considering how much he has on his plate.
“All you can do is work hard,” he said. “Whether it’s in London, at Pens camp, or for Canada.”