Bruins' Caron keeping last season behind him

Bruins' Caron keeping last season behind him
September 13, 2013, 9:30 am
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There was a time only two short years ago when Jordan Caron was on an upward career trajectory, and appeared to be on the cusp of securing an NHL job. But then the 22-year-old winger suffered a series of injuries last season, and wasn’t able to answer the bell when the Bruins held their abbreviated January training camp once the lockout had ended.

Instead Caron finished with 12 goals and 21 points in 64 games between Boston and Providence, and was nowhere to be found during the B’s playoff run to the Stanley Cup Final. That was a departure from the prior season when Caron was one of Boston’s strongest players down the stretch for a Bruins team that would bow out in the first round of the playoffs.

Caron signed a one-year deal with the Bruins this summer that served as a pay cut from last season. He's a pretty smart kid; the Quebec native knows this might be it for him if he can’t establish himself on the NHL roster.

“I don’t want to think about [last year] anymore. I just want to turn the page, and am looking forward to next season,” said Caron. “I think there is more room in the lineup than there’s been in the last few years.

“So I want to put my foot down and take whatever room [on the roster] there is.

There’s a third line role up for grabs among Caron, Jared Knight, Ryan Spooner, Matt Fraser and Reilly Smith, and the Bruins coaching staff is looking at the 2009 first round to pick to put it all together this season.

“Well we know what kind of player he is, he just has to go out there and do that," Claude Julien said. "He’s big, he’s strong, he’s got to be strong against the walls, he’s got to make sure that he gets in there quick enough on the fore-check and then when we do get the puck in the offensive zone. He should be strong against the wall, but at the same time he’s a guy that can take pucks to the net and go to the net.

“He can bring some offense to his game as far as wanting to be on the side of scoring opportunities. So we don’t want him to just 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.”

Caron only had 11 goals and 28 points two years ago for a Bruins team destined for a Stanley Cup hangover, but more importantly Boston’s wing prospect finished with seven goals and 15 points in 48 games for the Black and Gold. Caron’s lack of real skating speed can a drag when he’s not moving his feet, but his size is ideal for a third line grinding role.
If Caron can tap into that potential then a nice, solid relationship can be cultivated between player and hockey club. If not then a change of scenery has helped many people over the years, and the 6-foot-2, 202-pound prospect wouldn’t be the last one it’s happened with.