Patrick Harper

Aaron Vickers

Harper is an explosive offensive talent who reminds us of a young Paul Kariya. He’s very aggressive with his skills and flashy stick, but not so much physically; he’s undersized, but extremely offensively gifted. Always moving his feet and creating opportunities with his tenacious style of play and hockey sense, he is an excellent puck-distributor and has the ability to find teammates’ sticks through traffic with his tape-to-tape passing ability. Harper plays a frantic-paced, up-tempo style of play that makes him very difficult to defend against. His quick first step, mixed with his fantastic edge work, make him elusive and hard to maintain coverage on. He is an absolute beast with the puck, and gelled well with his AOF Winged Beavers linemates, allowing them to explore the ice and find spots where he could feed them the puck for high-quality scoring chances. His off-the-puck game is steady, and he is absolutely tenacious badgering the puck carrier when attempting to gain the puck back. A player who always wants the play to start with the puck on his stick, Harper seems to get frustrated when not handling the puck on a given shift. He needs some work on his defensive-zone play, but he is solid enough because of his smarts to get by. We almost want to see him slow down a bit with the puck and develop a bit of patience and poise, instead of always trying to force things to happen.  (May 2016)