By Joe Haggerty
CSNNE.com Bruins Insider Follow @hackswithhaggs
WILMINGTON While Jordan Caron isnt taking part in the rookie training camp or any first year festivities, the 21-year-old could be the most impactful rookie skating for the Bruins this season.
Caron actually cracked the opening night Bs roster in Prague last season after an impressive training camp, and played respectable hockey in 23 NHL games with seven points (three goals, four assists) and a plus-3 over the span. The Quebec native does many of the things that the Bruins put value in: he plays responsible two-way hockey, skates with strength on the puck and has an admirable work ethic that should allow his game to continue growing over the course of his career.
With Mark Recchi retired and Michael Ryder moving on to the Dallas Stars there will be at least two forward roster spots up for grabs heading into the season with Benoit Pouliot, Tyler Seguin and Caron essentially competing for two spots as training camp begins. Things could change and a rookie or two could emerge during camp as they normally do, but the 2009 first round pick knows its a pivotal year for him.
The novelty of playing in the NHL is over for Caron, and now its about the business of becoming a pro hockey player.
I was pretty excited when I came in to Boston the other night and it was great stepping on the ice with them again, said Caron, who made his first appearance at Bs captains practice on Tuesday. I think I want to improve every season. I think I got better last year and I want to keep improving this year. I want to spend the whole season in Boston, make my name with the team and get a full time job.
Caron showed plenty of potential, but would need to be better than 28 points (12 goals, 16 assists) in 47 games and a minus-7 for the Providence Bruins last year if hes going to stick in Boston. The youngster knew he had to work to do, and spent the summer with Patrice Bergeron and Antoine Vermette in Quebec City gearing his offseason program around improving his skating speed.
If I play the way Im supposed to and do what I have to then I put all of the chances to make the team on my side, said Caron. Its pretty much the same thing every year for me. Ive been told to improve my skating and my explosion. I also think one thing that will help me with offensively is going to the net. If I get faster then its going to be even better offensively. I also realized that I shouldnt be afraid to try some different things offensively.
Caron was one of Bergerons guests during his day with the Cup in Quebec City, and the youngster was blown away by the reception for their native son as he trekked the Stanley Cup around the city. The 21-year-old didnt do much raising or touching of the Cup on his own, however, after serving as one of the Black Aces through the postseason.
That will come when Caron carves out a role for himself in Boston and the Bruins go about the business of repeating as Stanley Cup champs.
Here are the Bs expected forward lines when the regular season begins, but it all could change depending on performances during training camp.