AMHERST – The Amherst Ramblers have added more grit on the backend with the acquisition of the rights to rugged defenceman Patrick Harrison from the Weeks Crushers.
Amherst is sending a second-round pick and future considerations to the Crushers.
Harrison is expected to arrive in Amherst on Saturday and could be in the lineup with the Ramblers host the Dieppe Commandos in Maritime Junior Hockey League exhibition action.
“He’s a big, physical defenceman with a lot of toughness,” Ramblers’ coach Jim Bottomley. “He’ll really solidfy our blueline. Three teams were looking at him and after talking to him he decided that he wanted to come here.”
A 20-year-old, Harrison had a goal and nine assists with 43 penalty minutes in 29 games with the Ontario Junior Hockey League’s Kingston Voyageurs. He also played a game with the Shawinigan Cataractes of the QMJHL.
He played 55 games with the OHL’s Kingston Frontenacs in 2010-11, scoring a goal and two assists while picking up 58 penalty minutes.
The Ottawa native said he’s looking forward to joining the Ramblers.
“I decided that I wanted to play on the east coast this season so I can get a look at playing university hockey there next season. The league is hosting the RBC and Fred Page Cup this year so I know it’s going to be very competitive,” he said. “I spoke to Jim about playing there and I’m looking forward to the opportunity.”
Harrison describes himself as a defensive defenceman, adding he hates getting scored one. He’s also not afraid to mix it up.
“I’m 20-year-old and I think my role will be to help protect some of the younger and skilled players,” he said. “I can have a bit of a mean streak.”
Heading into the weekend, the Ramblers are at home Saturday against the Commandos and then travel to Dieppe on Sunday.
“We’re getting down to the last few cuts. We probably have three defence fighting for two jobs and five or six forward fighting for three spots,” he said. “It’s going to be a good opportunity to evaluate what we have.”