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Back in Montréal for the first time since his team swept the Canadiens out of the playoffs, Bruins general manager Peter Chiarelli knew he was less than welcome at the 2009 NHL Entry Draft.
Commenting on how nice it was to return to Montréal, the locals booed Chiarelli as if the Bruins had decided to host a parade in street of Québec. However, the heckling quickly turned to cheers when Chiarelli announced the Bruins’ draft pick.
With the 25th overall selection, the B’s took right wing Jordan Caron of the Rimouski Oceanics (QMJHL). Standing 6’2” and weighing 202 lbs., the eighteen-year-old Sayabec, Québec native was warmly congratulated by the crowd, proud that yet another local was entering the NHL, even if it was to play for the enemy.
A natural offensive presence with a tendency to crash the net, Caron scored 74 goals and tallied 76 assists (150 points) in 161 games during his three seasons with Rimouski. Caron’s time in the QMJHL was certainly well spent, as he doubled his goal count from his first season (18 goals) to his final season (36 goals), when he was the team’s leading scorer. Caron wasn’t only at one end of the ice; he takes great pride in his defensive ability and playing on the penalty-kill unit for Rimouski. Also unafraid to be physical, Caron used his size to compile 149 PIMs with the Oceanics, including 66 in his final season. In 2008, Caron further padded his resume by representing the QMJHL in the Canada/Russia Challenge.
Scouts have compared Caron to J.P. Dumont and Patrick Marleau. When asked to which former Bruin Chiarelli would compare the team’s newest addition, the GM stated that Caron had a lot of the same characteristics, like being “heavy on the puck,” as a young Glen Murray.
While certainly a strong pick, there are reservations about Caron. Most scouts commented on his need to improve his decision-making. However, noting Caron’s love of the game and driven development up to this point, they don’t see that as a problem. Of greater concern is Caron’s health; Caron missed time in each of his three seasons in Rimouski with injuries due to his physical style of play.
Assuming that Caron stays healthy and continues to develop at the same rate he has, Chiarelli expects to see him at the Garden in two or three years. Fans should be excited at the prospect of seeing yet another bruising goal scorer in black and gold as well.