Caron Has Goods to Make it with Bruins


Jul 13, 2009

Caron Has Goods to Make it with Bruins Former NHLer and current Rimouski Oceanic assistant coach Donald Dufresne knew what he saw when he watched Bruins first-round pick Jordan Caron play as a young 15-year-old in Sayabec, Quebec.

“You knew right away he was already big. So he had size and strength
and you could tell he had some natural skill, but that he was very
unpolished,” said Dufresne, who is a longtime friend of the Caron
family. “But what I saw off the ice with him as a person, that’s how I
knew this kid could make it. He worked on a farm and he knew how to
work hard from an early age, so I knew the work ethic was there.”

Dufresne wasn’t coaching back then, but in 2006, he believed that
Caron wasn’t getting enough recognition for his play and deserved a
chance in major junior hockey.

“I had to really sell him and persuade the Oceanic to draft him,”
Dufresne said. “I told them this kid has potential and he is a very
hard worker.”

Rimouski eventually drafted Caron, and the 6-foot-2, 202-pound
forward didn’t disappoint, scoring 40 and 43 points respectively in his
first two seasons in Rimouski. He then exploded for 36 goals and 67
points last season. He also added 11 points in the playoffs and
Memorial Cup. That was enough to get him into the 2009 CHL Top
Prospects game and to, more importantly, open the eyes of some NHL

One team that was really impressed was the Bruins, and they needed
no convincing when Caron surprisingly fell to them at No. 25 in the
2009 NHL draft last month. The Bruins gladly picked the big winger, and
they feel he will fit perfectly into the system they have been building
since GM Peter Chiarelli took over in 2006.

“We had him ranked 15th on our charts and wanted to maybe move up
and get him, but then he dropped a bit and we decided we could probably
still have a chance. So we said let’s hope he drops to us and go for
it,” Chiarelli said in Montreal after the Bruins selected Caron. “He
had such a good Memorial Cup and that’s the last kind of impression
that a lot of scouts get. That’s why we thought that he would’ve been
in that top echelon. So we were fortunate.”

Chiarelli has constantly preached the mantra of getting tougher and
bigger during his three years as GM of the Bruins, and he and his staff
believe they did that by drafting this potential power-forward.

“He has a lot of those tendencies I’ve talked about wanting,” said
Chiarelli. “He has size, and he can get after the puck. He reminds me a
bit of Glen Murray. He’s got a really good shot. He’s
not what I would call a really pure shooter. He finds spaces to shoot
with his feet. He doesn’t have to go find a spot, stop and shoot. He
can grind, too. He’ll go in and he’ll dig out pucks. He’ll take pucks
to the net off the cycle or down low.”

During the Bruins’ development camp last week, Caron didn’t have
much chance to show off those qualities in-game except for a scrimmage
on Friday. But they were evident in the numerous drills that Bruins
director of player development Don Sweeney and his staff put the kids through.

“He has size, strength and a great release from the off wing,”
Sweeney said. “He’ll give goaltenders a lot of trouble. You could see
how strong he is with the puck and fighting defenders off. That’s all
there already and that’s what he will need at the NHL level. We’re not
talking Cam [Neely] reincarnated
here, where he will go in to corners and destroy guys, but we saw that
once he has that puck, it is very hard to get away from him. Is he NHL
ready? We’ll see, but his strength is definitely there.”

Caron himself said that while he has focused on improving his speed
and will continue to do so, he still needs to remember what his bread
and butter is.

“I know that if I continue trying to be a better skater, it will
help my complete game,” Caron said before heading back home to Sayabec.
“So I will work on that in the next month and hopefully be better for
rookie camp and maybe training cam. I think I know my strengths and
being faster will help me use them more. I just need to combine them.”

Caron’s desire to learn and strong work ethic were the reasons
Dufresne believed he could excel at the junior level and the reasons he
truly believes he will do so in the NHL in the very near future.

“I don’t know if he’s ready yet, but I think he can get there sooner
than some think,” Dufresne said. “He has what it takes, and he will be
a very good player.”

Dufresne has been right on Caron already and the Bruins are hoping both he and their scouting staff end up being right again.

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