Montreal Canadiens Draft Review: McCarron looks to fill a tall order

 

Jamie Squires - Getty Images

Jamie Squires – Getty Images

By James Stephan (@J_Habs)

The Montreal Canadiens selected hulking six foot five power forward Michael McCarron with the 25th overall pick in the 2013 NHL Entry draft, and by doing so the Habs have successfully addressed a gaping hole in their organization.

The Canadiens have long sought after a big rugged power forward to complement their diminutive yet talented forwards; finally after countless years of speculation regarding who would the Habs acquire to address the glaring need, they silence the critics by drafting the colossal Michigan native Michael McCarron.

Following several weeks of evaluating the Canadiens’ selections, and speaking to numerous scouts about each individual pick, the Habs are looking at a potential gem in McCarron.

Montreal Canadiens First Round Grade Evaluation: B+

What McCarron represents is a mix of skill, character, work ethic, and more notably size; at 6’5 235lbs with room to grow, the newly drafted self-proclaimed foodie projects to be an intimidating offensive force that will bow to only the locker room logo. Fans can rest assured that while McCarron has the tools to be a top six forward, he also possesses the mean streak in his game that can intimidate even the biggest of rivals, and he is not afraid to back up his play with fisticuffs.

When McCarron was drafted, there was a question looming in the air “Where will the Habs giant play in August?” That question has since been answered; after countless hours of weighing the pros and cons between Western Michigan and the OHL, McCarron opted to go the way of the Knight, choosing to play for the Hunter brothers and become a proud member of the London Knights.

McCarron admitted that he had consulted former London Knight Captain and current Hamilton Bulldog, Jarred Tinordi at the Montreal Canadiens development camp.

While either choice would have arguably been a good one for McCarron’s development, the pedigree that the London Knights have when it comes to developing excellent NHL talent is second to none, and fans cheered in jubilation when word leaked out that the Michigan native had made his choice. Mark and Dale Hunter have already commented on the matter, emphasizing that McCarron will play key role on the roster, and will likely be slotted on the same line as Vancouver Canucks’ Bo Horvat and Phoenix Coyote’s Max Domi. Playing with such talented forwards will allow Michael to develop his offensive game further, and give him a great opportunity to find the twine on a more constant basis, allowing him to work on his game to game consistency.

What can the Canadiens expect from McCarron?

McCarron is a physical gritty forward who loves to initiate contact, drop the gloves, and contribute offensively; in the grand scheme of things if McCarron develops his offensive game and consistency, along with adding more muscle to his large frame we could see him become an impact top six forward, one which makes a difference, one which will be heralded as a “game changer”. McCarron’s tools are good enough to deliver a big goal, or a bone crushing hit that intimidates opponents, and notifies other big imposing forwards around the league that the era of physically intimidating the small Montreal forwards is over. The six foot five forward may not have elite offensive ability however his unique size and skill will make him a black stallion in the NHL as that combination in a player of McCarron’s size is extremely rare.

One element to McCarron’s game that he’s reiterated ad nauseum is that he wishes to be the type of player that can play on any line in a variety of roles, either in a top six power forward role, or a checking line grinding role that will command authority.

With the fusion of McCarron’s skill, size and potential it is no wonder why Habs GM Marc Bergevin and Head Scout Trevor Timmins were seen exchanging celebratory high fives with excitement. The 25th overall pick has the chance to be a very special player for the Montreal Canadiens that would be the envy of any team.

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