•Right Wing -- Shoots Left •202 lbs -- 6'2'' •Sayabec, Quebec
•Nov. 2, 1990 (22 years old) •Drafted 25th overall by Boston, 2009
•Currently a Restricted Free Agent; qualifying offer met by the Bruins
In the final year of his three-year entry-level contract, Jordan Caron had his weakest year yet. He had a hat trick in the second weekend of the AHL season, and that accounted for the majority of his scoring for the first half of the year. He had an abysmal season in Providence during the lockout, struggling to score or contribute positively in any other way. Only a few weeks before the NHL lockout ended, he suffered a shoulder injury that took him out of the running for the open position on the third line that would end up going to Chris Bourque.
When Bourque crapped himself out of that position and Caron's injury healed, he did not seamlessly fit into the third line in Boston as many expected he would. He was struggling to find his game for many reasons, but the team was also struggling, and so were his linemates. Still, it seemed they had given up on him, and he was sent back down to the AHL yet again. Pretty much everyone predicted at some point that he would be traded.
He was revitalized at the end of the season in Providence. He was put on a line with Carter Camper and Craig Cunningham, and they were the most productive line for Providence in the Calder Cup Playoffs. Although they lost in seven games in the second round, Caron's point production in those twelve playoff games was half of what he produced in almost fifty regular season games prior to that. For the third straight year, he joined the Boston Bruins playoff run as a Black Ace and eventually as an alternate in practice.
Claude Julien opted not to use Caron when Gregory Campbell got injured and a spot opened up. Kaspars Daugavins and then Carl Soderberg were chosen over Caron. However, Caron was the only Providence skater retained to practice with the team in the Finals - Camper and Bourque, the only other Black Aces (along with Niklas Svedberg, who stayed with the team as well) were sent home. It seems like perhaps they've given up on Caron. Or maybe they saw that this was not an opportunity that Caron would be able to thrive on. Or maybe we know nothing.
What we do know is that Caron had a pretty bad season, but managed to finish it off on a pretty good note anyway.
Expectations for next year
Although he has yet to sign a new contract, the Bruins qualified him and he remains a restricted free agent, presumably working on a new contract that will be two-way and similar to his entry-level deal. I agree that his time is running out to prove that he is an asset to the organization, but I don't think his time has run out completely. He has yet to run into an injury-free season, and he is indeed a right wing, a position the Bruins are very publicly weak on. I fully expect to see them give him another shot in training camp to fight for a spot on the Boston roster, or get sent down to Providence again. For one more year.
I really do give him credit for the playoff performance he pulled off in the AHL after all the negative aspects of the regular season he could have dwelled on. He and Camper were the two best forwards for Providence and by default the two best players. A whole season playing together could have meant entirely different and more positive results. He works hard and he also trains with Patrice Bergeron in the off-season, which means you never know what kind of perfection he could come back with. He was clearly frustrated at times but I like his attitude and work ethic and think he still belongs with the Bruins, but performances like what we saw for the majority of 2012-13 are unacceptable.