Can Scott Harrington grab the last defensive slot for the Columbus Blue Jackets?
Expectations for Scott Harrington aren’t particularly high this year. The Columbus Blue Jackets defenseman hasn’t thrived the last two season’s, although this year, he should get an honest chance to become the team’s sixth defenseman.
With the departure of Ian Cole, the Jackets will look to fill their final defensive slot with one of three blueliners. Scott Harrington will get ample opportunity in camp, preseason, and perhaps the first few games of the season to see if he can fill the void. Also looking to take one of those final spots are Dean Kukan and Gabriel Carlsson.
Harrington has played more games with the Jackets than the other two combined over the last two season. He just hasn’t proven he can be a consistent contributor to the squad in the back end. He is average at best in his own zone and hasn’t shown a penchant for scoring or driving the offense.
Columbus Blue Jackets
In his 54 games with the Jackets he has a 44.9% corsi for rate and only eight points. Not ideal for a player that isn’t a “shut-down” guy.
All three of the defenseman vying for a spot alongside (presumably) David Savard are left shot, so Harrington doesn’t have a matchup advantage against any of them.
Nor does he have contract advantage. He is only on his current deal through the end of this season while Carlsson and Kukan have two years left.
Harrington just hasn’t shown to make me believe that he can compete at this level as a sixth defenseman. Carlsson and Kukan are just a step above Harrington and, barring a big preseason from Scott, will find himself as the 7th defenseman again in Columbus.
Because of the way I see the roster shaking out I don’t have that high of expectations for Harrington. He will likely play another 20 to 25 games this season as a replacement for injuries or when a defenseman needs a day.
Don’t expect Harry to make a big impact or wow anyone. It shouldn’t come as a surprise that this is likely Harrington’s last season in Columbus.