He was welcomed with open arms. He was blasted in the media, in bars, and on street corners. Jordan Caron has experienced it all. Playing in a hockey hotbed such as Boston, the Quebec native has experienced the good, the bad, and the ugly of the National Hockey League. Unfortunately for Caron, most of his experience has been the third option.
When the Bruins drafted Jordan Caron with the 25th overall pick in the 2009 NHL Draft, Peter Chiarelli thought that he uncovered a gem. Coming out of the QMJHL, Caron was relatively unheard of. He possessed nowhere near the hype that names like John Tavares and Matt Duchene carried with them.
Caron fit the Bruins system: he’s a 6’3″ winger who drives the net hard and tends to win battles along the boards. Does that description remind you of anyone? He wasn’t the world’s greatest skater, which was arguably his biggest knock. Due to his physical nature and ability to win battles and protect the puck, Caron was touted as more of a compliment to a playmaker rather than someone who creates his own shot well.
In his first season of wearing the spoked “B” on his jersey, Caron held his own: in 23 games, he notched 7 points. Many felt that the Caron, just 20 during the 2010-2011 campaign, was just getting his feet wet and that he could have a larger and more pronounced impact on the team in the years to come. The next season, Caron had seven goals and 15 points in 48 games.
After the 2011-2012 season ended, Caron plateaued and trended downwards. The development of a young player came to a screeching halt.
Over the next two and half seasons in Boston, Caron scuffled to six points in 63 contests and a -8 rating. His average time on ice dropped to under 10 minutes per game, and his confidence was buried underneath 50 feet of…well, you know what. He wasn’t helping the team and seems invisible on the ice, floating across all three zones.
*sad trumpet begins to play*
Once a top prospect, Caron had habitually struggled with acclimating himself into the Bruins lineup. Often times the thirteenth forward, Caron has spent substantial time playing for the Providence Bruins. Bouncing back and forth on I-95 definitely hurt Caron’s confidence. Per Terry Frei of the Denver Post, Caron voiced some frustration:
“It hasn’t always been the way I wanted it to be in Boston, so I’m excited for a new start and to prove people wrong and show what I can do in the NHL. It just didn’t work out, I guess. I never felt really confident up there. I wish I had a more extensive opportunity, but I don’t regret anything.”
New Home, Same Caron
Caron has played in eight games for the Avalanche, failing to notch a point so far. Averaging 9:35 of ice time a game, Caron only has fired the rubber on goal a mere four times. Slotted in the forth line with Freddie Hamilton and Daniel Briere, Caron will need to make more plays to ensure that he is part of Colorado’s plans moving forward.
For what was once a career that had the potential to be promising, Caron is proving to be another one of Peter Chiarelli’s draft busts. Offensively and defensively indifferent, Caron hasn’t been able to fulfill his expectations, and is fighting for a regular job in the NHL. Still 24, Caron is still on the younger side and could turn his career around.
But he better make it quick. He can’t fall for much longer.
Cam Kerry covers the Bruins for The Hockey Writers and is on Twitter (@camkerryPRS). Follow him…because he said so.