Boston Bruins: Jordan Caron Entering Make Or Break Year
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By Mitch Cole (@DirtyWaterBuzz)
When the Boston Bruins selected Jordan Caron 25th overall, it was clear that they had high expectations for him. Coming off a 67 point (36 goals, 21 assists) season with Rimouski Ocean of the QMJHL, the Bruins envisioned Caron as an important piece for the future.
“He (Caron) has a lot of those tendencies I’ve talked about wanting”, GM Peter Chiarelli said at the 2009 draft. “He has size and he can get after the puck. He kind of reminds me of a young Glen Murray.”
Since signing him an entry level deal in March 2010, the Bruins have given Caron every opportunity to earn a spot on the NHL roster. However, Caron has repeatedly failed to live up to his potential. Despite his being a burly forward who plays a smart two way game, and is strong defensively, and heavy on the puck, Caron has played passively during every opportunity given to him thus far in his career. In addition to passive play, Caron continuously appears to be too slow for the NHL, plain and simple.
“Well we know what kind of player he (Caron) is, he just has to go out there and do that”, head coach Claude Julien said. “He’s big, he’s strong, he’s got to be strong on the walls, he’s got to make sure he gets in there quick enough on the forecheck and that we do get the puck in the offensive zone. Like I said, he should be strong on the wall, but at the same time he’s a guy that can take pucks to the net and go to the net and bring some offense to his game as far as wanting to be on the side of scoring opportunities. So we don’t just want him to think about not getting scored on, we want him to think about being a good two-way player because he’s capable of doing that.”
Heading into this season, the Bruins have a spot open on their third line, and it is more than likely that Caron will once again be afforded the opportunity to win a spot with the big club. However, Caron has plenty of competition in camp this year. Unlike the past two seasons when Caron’s only competition was Benoit Pouliot in 2012 and Chris Bourque in 2013, Caron faces competition from the likes of Carl Soderberg, Reilly Smith, Matt Fraser, and Ryan Spooner. Other prospects, such as Jared Knight, are also possibilities, but appear to be long shots.
This year, Caron will be on a one year contract, and will be making just above the league minimum salary ($640K cap hit), a significant pay cut from the $1.1M per year he made on his entry level contract. Another poor showing in training camp will undoubtedly land Caron back in Providence, at which point the Bruins will most likely either trade him or part ways at the end of the season. Caron’s window of opportunity is closing fast, and the first month of the regular season will likely make his fate clear.
All salaries obtained from Cap Geek