B's final preseason games could be Caron's last chance

B's final preseason games could be Caron's last chance
September 26, 2013, 6:30 pm
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(AP Photo)

WINNIPEG – Another Bruins player with something to prove in the final two preseason games against the Jets is former first-round pick Jordan Caron.

The 22-year-old has put together an average training camp in his pivotal fourth year with the Bruins organization, and that has allowed other forwards to enter themselves into the competition for the 13th forward spot. Caron seemed to be a favorite to win a third-line wing role or the extra forward spot in the worst case scenario, but instead, names such as Nick Johnson, Matt Fraser, Reilly Smith and Ryan Spooner have passed by the young B’s forward.

Coming off a difficult year last season beset with injuries, the NHL lockout and an underwhelming turn for Providence in the AHL, Caron should have had something to prove out on the ice. He’s shown a willingness to be a physical presence and is always pretty good in all three zones, but Caron hasn’t shown any of the promise or potential of a former first-round pick.

“He’s one of those guys that is in the running. The one thing about Jordan is that he’s very reliable at both ends of the ice, he’s a big body and is strong on the puck,” Bruins coach Claude Julien said. "Right now the thing we’re looking for is what else can he bring besides that part of the game. A little bit of production and few offensive chances [could help his cause]. We’ve encouraged him to take pucks to the net.

“This year, he’s a guy that needs waivers, so there will be decisions to make. We’re giving him as many chances as we can with a lot of [preseason] games.”

Interesting that Julien notes the waiver issue with Caron, who the Bruins would be in danger of losing for nothing in return if they do send him back down to the AHL. One would hope to get some kind of value in return for a former first-rounder, who has shown he is at least a borderline NHL player, and that may be the one thing that saves him in the end.

Because based on the training camp performances, the 27-year-old Johnson has outperformed Caron and would give the Bruins the kind of veteran NHL player that could make a positive impact if forced into the lineup.

The high point in Caron's Bruins career was finishing strong with four goals and 10 points in the final 18 games of the 2011-12 NHL season as most of his teammates fought through a massive Stanley Cup hangover. It seemed as if he would build on that promise, but it just hasn’t happened yet.

These last two preseason games present another chance for Caron to seize a roster spot in Boston, and – entering his fourth season with the organization -- there may not be too many more opportunities with the Black and Gold on the horizon afterward.