Caron Making Strong Case To Stay With Bruins
Tyler Seguin may receive most of the attention from Bruins fans and media but another Boston first round pick is gaining momentum as the regular season approaches.
Jordan Caron, Boston’s 2009 first round pick, is opening up eyes in the organization and in the city with his strong two way play and nose for the net.
After netting a hat trick in the first rookie game against the Islanders, Caron continued his strong play in all areas of the ice and has been featured heavily on Boston’s powerplay and penalty kill during the pre-season.
“Yeah, it’s a good sign I think. It’s good to get some powerplay and penalty kill time and be trusted to be there on the penalty kill and just be in the game more in those situations and get the experience,” Caron said when asked if seeing ice time in clutch situations was a confidence booster.
Being able to play, and play well, at even strength as well as the power play and penalty kill is going to make it hard for the Boston brass to send Caron down and the youngster is giving the Bruins every reason to keep him.
“It’s not only the hat trick I think every game I tried to play good defensively and I think the defensive part of my game is really important,” Caron said. “I’m not only an offensive guy and I try to contribute defensively as well and I think that’s a big point that got me here.”
Those are attributes that will definitely endear him to coach Claude Julien in the Bruins defensive minded system.
Caron is also incredibly strong on the puck and hard to bring down. He has almost seamlessly jumped into the NHL game, showing great vision, strength and instincts on the ice. There is always concern with rookies that adjusting to the speed and strength of NHL level talent could be a huge roadblock but Caron has displayed the tools and hockey instincts to deal with the challenge.
“Yeah, he’s a pretty straightforward player. I mean that because he has good size, good strength, protects the puck well, he crashes the net, will take the puck to the net, crashes the net, he shoots it well, does a good job in front as well. He’s not the overly, I would say, player that that’s going to dangle through everybody. He’s going to take a straight line and take pucks to the net. This I the part that the Boston Bruins have always had in the past that has really identified the kind of team that they have,” coach Claude Julien said.
Caron’s nose for the net and fearless approach to getting to the crease and wreaking havoc is an asset the Bruins did not have last year consistently, and is one of Caron’s greatest strengths.
In the loss against the Capitals Caron was almost constantly buzzing around the Washington net and although he failed to bury his chances, his drive and skill were still on full display. His offensive instincts are one of the many reasons he has a great chance to stay with Boston when the regular season begins and if he keeps up that fearless approach to crashing the crease it will not be long before those chances become goals.
“Yeah hopefully. I want to stay here and I want to contribute offensively. Sometimes those chances don’t fall, but yeah I want to continue to work for those chances,” Caron said. “We missed a couple of opportunities in front of the net [against Washington] but hopefully in the next couple of games I can bury those chances.”
In Caron, coach Claude Julien sees a younger version of a player Caron could certainly learn a lot from.
“His physical strength for his age is extremely good, so he has shown us a lot of good things in front of the net where we always talked about how good Mark Recchi was. He has a little bit of that too. He goes to the front of the net, he positions himself well, and because of his size, he’s able to stand in there, tip pucks, and jump on the rebounds,” Julien said.
Caron has also impressed Bruins brass off the ice as well, showing his maturity and willingness to learn from his more experienced teammates. The mental aspect of Caron’s game is just as important as the physical but the rookie seems to be handling himself well.
“I’m trying to help him out as much as I can,” Bergeron told ESPN.com. “But he’s handling himself really well. I’m happy to see that. He’s down to earth, minds his own business and is just going along doing his job. Just really professional.”
Caron could still be set back down to Providence if he does not perform well enough during the Bruins European trip but the rookie has show great maturity off the ice, great instincts offensively and defensively and a great willingness to learn.
He may not be making all the headlines yet with Tyler Seguin in town but if his development continues on it’s current path it will not be long before he is a productive fan favorite in Boston.