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Of the prospects covered so far, power forward Jordan Caron is the only one with a significant number of NHL games under his belt. He’s also proved to be the most divisive. The BSN writers ranked him between 13th and 21st overall, with some valuing his potential and experience and others criticizing his lackluster showing with the Avs.
Who is Jordan Caron?
Caron was drafted 8 spots ahead of Ryan O’Reilly by the Boston Bruins at the 2009 Entry Draft. Before hearing his named called, the large right wing played for Rimouski in the QMJHL, putting up 67 pts in 56 GP. He played out his Junior eligibility and ended up one pt shy of a point-per-game pace across his 4 year campaign.
Once he graduated to the pro ranks, he didn’t have to wait long for his NHL debut. He made Boston’s opening night roster for the ’10-11 season, but played only 23 games due to scratches and illness before being sent down in early December. Since that time, his career history has been a patchwork of promotions, demotions, healthy scratches, and movement around the lineup.
After 4 seasons without securing a consistent roster spot, Bruins GM Chiarelli made it very clear he was looking to trade the winger last summer. With Boston’s deep squad and Caron’s 24th birthday approaching, he felt it was in everyone’s interest to part ways. Caron was placed on waivers shortly before opening night, but it wasn’t until March 2nd that he found himself on a new team in exchange for Max Talbot.
Once he arrived in Denver, he played on a line with Duchene and Iginla and registered around 20 shifts a night. However, after his third game, his usage dropped significantly, bottoming out at 5 shifts and 3:19 of ice time against Nashville on April 7th.
So, what happened? Despite his size, Caron just didn’t do much on the ice. His defense wasn’t great, he failed to register a single point in 19 games with the Avs, and he wasn’t particularly great at screening goalies or helping on the rush. He did very little to force Roy to keep giving him minutes, and as such, ended up on the 4th line.
At 24 – the same age as Duchene, O’Reilly, and Barrie – he’s not exactly young anymore. He still has the potential Boston saw when they selected him in the first round and hypothetically fits a positional need for the Avs, but time is running out for him to earn a consistent NHL spot. He’s looking more and more like a first round bust.
What is the future for Jordan Caron?
The short answer is: ¯_(ツ)_/¯
But if you insist on being more wordy and descriptive about it (pfft), let’s just say that no one is quite sure what Caron’s future holds. His contract is due up at the end of the year, and he still has a couple seasons of RFA eligibility remaining. Due to the Avs lack of depth at forward, it’s possible that he’ll be re-signed on the off chance he becomes the prospect Hockey’s Future gushed about years ago.
Unfortunately, his current deal is a 1-way. That means he gets paid the same amount to play in the AHL as he does in the NHL, which typically convinces GMs to keep those players with the big club. He can accept a 2-way deal, but more likely, he either gets a 1-way offer or is allowed to become a free agent this summer.
Will the Avs spend the money to keep him, or will he be allowed to walk? He still has a good deal of potential – hence his position on our list – but it’s unclear how much faith the coaches and management have in his ability to reach it. Only their actions this summer will answer that question.