TORONTO – Jordan Caron watched in street clothes as the Boston Bruins rumbled through the playoffs en route to a Stanley Cup championship last season. This year, he’d like a chance to earn his own ring.
“It was good to see the preparation of the guys and the consistency they had every day at practice,” said Caron, a 22-year-old rookie right winger who was drafted in the first round (25th overall) in 2009.
“It was my first year pro and it was really fun to go all the way and see what it takes to win in the playoffs.
“It makes you want to go again. Last year I didn’t play, but I wanted to come back this year and be a part of the team and hopefully go all the way again.”
The six-foot-three, 205-pound native of Sayabec, Que.—who retained his rookie status this season because he played only 23 NHL games in 2010-11—might get his chance in the playoffs if he keeps up his recent level of performance.
After an up and down season that has seen him make several trips to the American Hockey League and just score three goals and five points in his first 30 NHL games this season, Caron has contributed three goals and five points in his past two contests.
The fledgling power forward had his first career multi-goal game on Tuesday night, scoring twice and adding an assist as the Bruins defeated the Toronto Maple Leafs 5-4.
Caron also chipped in a goal and an assist when the B’s lost to the New York Rangers 4-3 on Sunday.
“When it goes in once, it gives you that confidence boost and pushes you to keep going,” Caron said. “You slow down a little bit, see the play a bit better and that comes with confidence and playing a regular shift.”
Plus, it helps that Caron’s roommate on the road is second-year star Tyler Seguin, who was initiated into the league last season.
“Living with him, at the beginning of the year he was up and down (between the AHL and NHL), which was tough on his conditioning and things like that,” said Seguin, the second overall draft pick in 2010. “I’m really happy for him. I know how hard he works on and off the ice, and how determined and focused he is.
“It’s nice to see him get his confidence going.…I think it’s a little bit of entitlement, knowing that you belong. (The NHL) is really a league of earning your way up, whether it’s on the ice or off the ice.”
Whether it’s confidence or increased ice time due to the Bruins’ spate of injuries, Caron’s recent improvement is obvious. Since being recalled on Feb. 4, he had one goal and a minus-6 rating in 13 games before his two-game breakout against the Rangers and Leafs.
“It just goes to show that you really do need patience with young players,” said Bruins coach Claude Julien. “Once he gets going you give more ice (time) and encourage him to keep playing that way. You’ve got to give him that opportunity.
“(Caron) has been around, in and out, for the last couple of years. He’s starting to get his confidence and we’re seeing him do things he did in junior, be a power forward and take the puck to the net. He’s a big strong kid, he finishes his checks, and we expect that of him so it’s great to see.”