Caron/By S. Bradley

A fractured collarbone cost the Bruins a chance to see what Jordan Caron could do last fall. But a solid return to his junior team, plus a strong showing at the World Junior Championship and this summer’s development camp proved to the club that it has a future player.

The ’09 first-round pick’s development could go one of two ways, but in either direction he should be an NHL regular real soon.

Caron has been a point-producer during his junior career, including last season when he posted 53 points (26 goals) in 43 games with Rimouski and Rouyn-Noranda in the QMJHL. In the playoffs, he continued his torrid pace with 18 more points (seven goals) in 11 games. With the right amount of improvement in his hands and stickwork, he could translate into this type of player in the NHL.

With the silver-medal-winning Canadian World Junior team, however, the 19-year-old Caron played more of a supporting and checking role and did that well as well. The experience the 6-foot-3, 199-pound winger gained doing that could aid his cause in trying to make the NHL club this fall. And it’s more likely at this point in his career that that’s the role he’ll be best suited for.

Always in possession of a strong shot and an always-on willingness to go to the net and the “dirty areas” of the ice, Caron still needs to continue to improve his skating and gain explosiveness. Some time in Providence (AHL) might be the perfect way for him to start his pro career, as he adapts to the speed of the pro game and tests how his ability to play the body matches up with bigger, stronger veterans.

The way Caron plays the game, there’s always going to be a risk for injury. But that same approach is what’s going to make him a solid top-nine forward, and a popular performer with the Bruins’ faithful.

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