(Photo Credit: Robert Lefebvre/OHL Images)

By: Tom Calautti | Follow me on Twitter @TCalauttis and Linktree

September is here, and that means hockey is right around the corner. Black N’ Gold Hockey is continuing its countdown of the Top-Ten Bruins Prospects with our first entry in the top five. Last week, we saw the first center appear on our list; you’ll see another one this week. The number five prospect in the Bruins system is Brett Harrison.

The Bruins were in a precarious position when they selected Harrison 85th overall in the third round of the 2021 draft. Harrison posted 21 goals, 16 assists, and 37 points in 58 games for the OHL’s Oshawa Generals in the 2019-20 season. The following OHL season was canceled due to coronavirus, and Harrison could only skate in seven games in the Finnish U20 SM-sarja league before that eventually shut down. They took a bit of a gamble on Harrison, and it’s paid off to this point.

Once the OHL opened back up in the 2021-22 season, Harrison erupted for 27 goals, 34 assists, and 61 points for the Generals in 67 games. He continued his emergence as an elite OHL goal scorer in the 2022-23 season, splitting time between Oshawa and the Windsor Spitfires. Between those two teams, Harrison suited up for 57 games and notched 34 goals, 35 assists, and 69 points in just 57 games. He has since been elevated to the AHL and will spend the upcoming season with the Providence Bruins.

Harrison is a gifted offensive player with one weapon you cannot teach: a deadly shot. The London, Ontario, native can score from all over the ice due to his shooting arsenal. He can step into his powerful slap shot and pick corners when left open, wire a quick and potent wrist shot while in traffic, and release his dart of a snapshot while on the move or in transition.

In addition to Harrison’s powerful shot, he has incredibly soft hands that allow him to excel in front of the net and score from in tight. He has excellent hand-eye coordination, allowing him to tip pucks from the point and redirect them past opposing goaltenders. In addition, he has a feathery, light touch around the net and can flutter pucks up under the crossbar with little to no time or space.

Drafted as a center but recently spending time on the wing, Harrison has an enviable frame that allows him to maintain puck possession and win board battles through strength and body position. At 6’2″, 185 pounds, he isn’t an overly physical player but expertly uses his body to block off defenders and create space for himself in tight places. This allows him to generate offense from the front of the net and clean up any rebounds or loose pucks that squirt free.

He may be a shoot-first player, but that doesn’t mean he’s one-dimensional. He showed off his vision and hockey sense at Bruins Development Camp, feathering cross-zone saucer passes and fitting pucks into tight windows to spring his teammates for scoring chances.

The downside to Harrison’s game is his speed and agility. When he’s in motion and has the puck on his stick, he’s like a freight train but can get lost in the shuffle when the puck isn’t on his stick. He doesn’t have the type of breakaway speed that allows him to separate from mobile defenders, something he’ll need if he wants to score at the next level. He’s responsible enough defensively but could improve in his own end.

According to Ty Anderson of 98.5 The Sports Hub, Harrison will begin next season on the wing. He can show off his offensive prowess in Providence this season and cement himself on the Bruins’ radar as someone to watch. The upside is there with this player, and if he can improve a few areas in his game, he could have a legitimate chance to be a top-six contributor and powerplay dynamo. Harrison has many highlights, but I’ll leave you with this incredible between-the-legs goal to show how exciting he can be.