One of the biggest leaps up the list this fall is John McCarron. We knew he’d get a push in playing time at Cornell in his junior season, but he’s ranked here because of the things he’s done with the extra time. John McCarron is a big man with skill, and that has value in any era.
PREVIOUSLY NUMBER SIXTEEN ON THE LIST
- December 2004: L Brock Radunske
- December 2005: L Slava Trukhno
- December 2006: D Theo Peckham
- December 2007: D Mathieu Roy
- December 2008: L Teemu Hartikainen
- December 2009: L Toni Rajala
- December 2010: D Taylor Chorney
- December 2011: G Frans Tuohimaa
- December 2012: G Olivier Roy
This list looks like it should, a bunch of guys we vaguely remember and then a third-seventh round guy who took awhile to arrive in the mix. Four of the nine have played in the NHL, but the only regular was Theo Peckham and I’m not sure that’s really a true statement. For me, I’m still surprised that Hartikainen didn’t make it despite the speed issues—I have him as a better player so far than Joensuu—and Peckham was a disappointment but that was a fine draft pick for my money.
WHAT THEY SAID ON DRAFT DAY
- Stu MacGregor: “John McCarron has a big body, has good hands. Very strong on the puck. He takes it to the net, has a good shot. Strong around the net. Another guy who, after a couple of years in college, we can hopefully look forward to forward him challenging to make the team.”
- Kirk Luedeke discussing McCarron on Nation Radio: “He’s another one of those raw guys, pretty hard nosed for college. Nothing flashy, meat and potatoes north-south type player his production was pretty good. He’s got a chance to be a bottom 6 player, at very best he would be a fringe third liner or solid fourth liner. He finishes his check and goes hard to the net. He’s a pretty hard nosed guy for NCAA, has a chance to play because he’s big and strong. Straight line player, drops his shoulder, finishes his check and fights for position in front of the net.”
JOHN MCCARRON NHL EQUIVALENCIES BY YEAR
|MCCARRON 2011-12 NCAA||33, 6-13-19||82, 4-8-12|
|MCCARRON 2012-13 NCAA||33, 7-12-19||82, 4-8-12|
|MCCARRON 2013-14 NCAA||13, 3-12-15||82, 5-19-24|
Rob Vollman had a look at NHLE in his terrific Hockey Abstract, and one of the things he did was separate the NHLE for colleges. ECAC comes out (.25) behind WCHA, and that’s the reason for the gap in numbers for McCarron compared to some others in the top 20. He’s getting more playing time and the offense is coming with the playing time, and for me that puts him in front of some recent prospects who aren’t pushing so far this year.
I think we should probably keep McCarron in mind as a guy who could push for an NHL job when he turns pro. At 6.02, 225 and 21 years old, he’s about 6 months younger than Tyler Pitlick and may be applying for the same job in the fall (should he sign with the Oilers and leave college early).
PREVIOUS TOP 20 RANKING
- Summer 2012: NR
- Winter 2012: NR
- Summer 2013: 26
- Winter 2013: 16
This is a late round pick, a long shot (6th round, 153rd overall in 2012) and history tells us the odds of McCarron playing 200 games in the NHL aren’t great. However, McCarron has taken advantage of an opportunity and that NHLE combined with his size and the scouting report push him ahead of the rest in this part of the cluster. Considering his age, resume, performance and position he’s not that far from an NHL look-see with the Oilers.
If I’m McCarron’s “advisor” I’m emailing this young man all of the MacT quotes about adding size along with the projected depth chart for this hockey club on RW for 2014-15:
- Jordan Eberle
- Nail Yakupov
- Mark Arcobello
- Tyler Pitlick
And tell him to sign anything resembling a contract. The Edmonton Oilers need a few good men, and the opportunities are exceptional on right wing.