B’s Beat: Jordan Caron’s Last Chance With Bruins
When the Boston Bruins decided to send down Nick Johnson in favor of Jordan Caron prior to the start of the season, it left many B’s fans scratching their heads. Johnson was vastly superior during the preseason, and he was clearly more deserving of the 13th forward spot. The real reason Caron stayed with the big club is his contract. Caron, unlike Johnson, is on a one-way deal worth $600k. If the Bruins had sent him down, he would have been subject to waivers and very likely claimed. Keeping Caron up in the NHL was more of an asset protection move.
I think a lot of Bruins fans were soured on the hulking forward after he failed to meet the expectations that most first round picks enter an organization with. Caron was the Bruins’ first round pick in the 2009 NHL Entry Draft. Since being taken, he has had various stints with the big club. Some have been successful, others not so much. His scout profile touted him as a big kid, with a solid two-way game, and decent offensive instincts. So far we have only seen those characteristics in very limited flashes.
It was becoming clear that Jordan Caron was on his way to bust territory and this season was going to be his last chance to show the team that he was worthy of wearing the spoked B. Fortunately for him, Carl Soderberg hurt his ankle prior to the start of the season. With the Yeti out, Caron has the opportunity to play on the third line with Chris Kelly and Reilly Smith, and so far he has played extremely well.
Let’s face it, Caron has arguably been one of the Bruins’ best players to start the season. He has been a part of a third line that has been the team’s best through the first two games of the season. Caron got screwed out of a goal in game one against the Tampa Bay Lightning on a bogus whistle because the ref could no longer see the puck on the play. He also made a good play on the forecheck against the Detroit Red Wings which led to his first goal on the season.
Caron has certainly played like someone who belongs on an NHL team, but it remains to be seen if that is with the Boston Bruins. I believe the team intends to trade him once Soderberg returns from injury, and his impressive performance has helped elevate his trade value. I could be wrong though. Perhaps he has earned a longer look on this team, though it will be in a limited variety as the 13th forward. It is tough to get a read on the young forward at times, because it seems as if he has plenty of the tools to be a productive player, but he doesn’t seem to bring his game consistently enough to make an impact.
The Jordan Caron situation is going to be an interesting one to follow throughout the early goings of the season. He could be moved by the end of the month while his value is still fresh. He could also continue to play excellently and force the Bruins’ hand into playing him more often. I didn’t expect much from him heading into this season, but I have honestly been impressed. He has been given a very small window to show everyone what he can bring to the table, and boy has he run with it. He better keep it up too, because this is his last chance.
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