BOSTON -- At this time last season, Bruins rookie Jordan Caron was just happy to still be on the roster. But he was admittedly wide-eyed and overwhelmed at the fact he was playing in the NHL and the surprised by the physical toll this league takes on players. But now, with 23 NHL games under his belt last season and then traveling with the NHL squad during their Stanley Cup run as one of the “Black Aces”, Caron is poised to show he can withstand that daily grind of the NHL.
“I think last year I wasn’t really ready for all it takes to stay in this league,” Caron said after practice Wednesday. “I was just happy I made it but didn’t realize what it takes. Now I know and I think that experience has helped me.”
Caron also feels more comfortable in the Bruins system and playing amongst NHLers.
“I was definitely nervous,” Caron said. “Now I am just comfortable and know what is expected of me. So I am able to play my game and not worry as much.
Head coach Claude Julien sees a calmer Caron as well and agrees that the experience Caron got last season will help him not only on the ice but also off. As Julien pointed out, Caron was a kid that came from a predominantly French-speaking culture and then was thrown into a different, English-speaking one.
“I think he's a little calmer. He's not as nervous,” Julien said Wednesday. Obviously he came up from the Quebec league and this is a player that's grown up in a totally, totally French environment. So when you move from home for the first time or from that area for the first time and get into this kind of environment, there's an adjustment period but I thought he did a great job last year.
After making the roster out of camp again and impressing Julien and his coaching staff, Caron appears ready for the next step. Julien is confident he will.
“I really liked his camp and obviously he was good enough to make our line up to start the season,” Julien said. “This year he's a lot more comfortable and being with us during the playoffs and being around the players and so on and so forth. All those things kind of help but to me he's had a real good camp again this year, which he did last year, but there's probably a little bit more confidence there's probably a little bit more experience in his thinking about he knows what happened last year and he's not going to want that to happen again so that's the way he's thinking right now.”