The Bear Cave

June 27, 2009 8:25 AM

Tavares Goes First; Bruins Select Jordan Caron

On Friday night, thirty young hockey players got the opportunity to wear an NHL jersey on stage, as the first round of the 2009 NHL Entry Draft took place at Montreal's Bell Centre. John Tavares got the festivities started, when Garth Snow called his name as the first selection by the New York Islanders. 28 other names were announced before the Pittsburgh Penguins completed the evening by taking Simon Despres with the 30th and final pick of the opening round.

The beginning of the night got off to a relatively predictable start, as most followers of the game had at least an idea of who the top five players were. Despite some late rumors that had Matt Duchene going first, the New York Islanders made no mistake by taking John Tavares at number one. The Tampa Bay Lightning completed the antcipated 1-2 punch by pouncing on Victor Hedman with the second pick. That put Matt Duchene in the third spot for the Colorado Avalanche, while Evander Kane and Brayden Schenn finished out the top five as members of the Atlanta Thrashers and Los Angeles Kings.

From there, the picks became challenging to guess, as some teams elected to go with the best available player, while others opted to fill a need. The complete list of players taken in the first round can be seen at the end of this article. On a side note, 2009 marks the second time this decade (2007 was the other) that a goaltender was not drafted during the opening round.

One of the major stories from last year's draft was the significant amount of trades made. This season, Gary Bettman had the opportunity to announce six transactions from the podium. Unfortunately, only one of the six involved current NHL players. The deal was an early one in the evening, sending Chris Pronger and Ryan Dingle to the Philadelphia Flyers, with Joffrey Lupul, Luca Sbisa, and a pair of draft picks taking flight to the Anaheim Ducks. Lupul returns to the team that originally drafted him, while the Broadstreet Bullies certainly lived up to their name by adding Pronger to the mix.

Thanks to the historic rivalry between Boston and Montreal, the Boston Bruins weren't exactly given the warmest of welcomes when Peter Chiarelli stood behind the microphone. However, he was more than happy to announce the drafting of Jordan Caron with the 25th pick in the 2009 NHL Entry Draft.

This draft was certainly a unique one for Jordan Caron, as he hails from Sayabec, Quebec. Sayabec is approximately seven hours from Montreal, but the Canadiens are the closest NHL team to that and Rimouski, which is where he played junior hockey. Caron is an 18-year old forward, who checks in at 6-foot-2 and 202 pounds.

Prior to his selection by the Bruins, Caron has spent the last three seasons playing with the QMJHL's Rimouski Oceanic. Each season has been an improvement for Caron and the Oceanic, as the club went from missing the playoffs in 2006-07, to hosting the Memorial Cup Tournament in 2008-09. In his first season, Caron played in 59 games, scoring 18 goals, 22, assists, and 40 points. Despite 13 fewer contests, season two was even more productive for Boston's draft pick, as he recorded 20 goals, 23 assists, and 43 points. This past season was Caron's best, as he netted 36 goals, to go along with 31 assists in 56 games. The lone issue in juniors for the 18-year old has been injuries, which hopefully won't become a factor in his professional game.

Although defense was the anticipated pick for Boston, fans around New England have to be excited about what the Bruins are getting in Jordan Caron. He is Peter Chiarelli's type of player. For those unfamiliar with that phrasing, Chiarelli has been preaching about size and scoring since he became the general manager during the summer of 2006. With 74 goals and 150 points in 161 games, the scoring speaks for itself. At 6-foot-2, 202 pounds, Caron also comes with a good amount of size. The Sayabec, QC native will likely add some weight in muscle over the next few years, making him into a force for when he ultimately reaches the NHL.

Because he is still only 18, Jordan Caron will be returning to the Rimouski Oceanic for the 2009-10 season. If he impresses the Bruins during the next two training camps, he might have an outside chance at making the big club at the start of the 2010-11 campaign. However, the more realistic possibilities are either 2011-12 or 2012-13. If all goes well, Caron would likely report to Providence in the fall of 2011, with Boston watching closely to see how he adjusts to the professional game.

As it stands now, the Boston Bruins will have four selections on Saturday. Those picks are currently 86th (third round), 112th (fourth round), 176th (sixth round), and 206th (seventh round) overall. The second day of the draft begins at 10:00 a.m. from the Bell Centre in Montreal.

2009 First Round Selections:

1. New York Islanders- John Tavares (C- London/OHL)
2. Tampa Bay Lightning- Victor Hedman (D- Modo/Sweden)
3. Colorado Avalanche- Matt Duchene (C- Brampton/OHL)
4. Atlanta Thrashers- Evander Kane (C- Vancouver/WHL)
5. Los Angeles Kings- Brayden Schenn (C- Brandon/WHL)
6. Phoenix Coyotes- Oliver Ekman-Larsson (D- Leksand/Sweden)
7. Toronto Maple Leafs- Nazem Kadri (C- London/OHL)
8. Dallas Stars- Scott Glennie (RW- Brandon/WHL)
9. Ottawa Senators- Jared Cowen (D- Spokane/WHL)
10. Edmonton Oilers- Magnus Paajarvi-Svensson (LW- Timra/Sweden)
11. Nashville Predators- Ryan Ellis (D- Windsor/OHL)
12. New York Islanders- Calvin deHaan (D- Oshawa/OHL)
13. Buffalo Sabres- Zack Kassian (RW- Peterborough/OHL)
14. Florida Panthers- Dmitry Kulikov (D- Drummondville/QMJHL)
15. Anaheim Ducks- Peter Holland (C- Guelph/OHL)
16. Minnesota Wild- Nick Leddy (D- Eden Prairie/USHS)
17. St. Louis Blues- David Rundblad (D- Skelleftea/Sweden)
18. Montreal Canadiens- Louis Leblanc (C- Omaha/USHL)
19. New York Rangers- Chris Kreider (C- Andover/USHS)
20. New Jersey Devils- Jacob Josefson (C- Djurgarden/Sweden)
21. Columbus Blue Jackets- John Moore (D- Chicago/USHL)
22. Vancouver Canucks- Jordan Schroeder (C- Minnesota/WCHA)
23. Calgary Flames- Tim Erixon (D- Skelleftea/Sweden)
24. Washington Capitals- Marcus Johansson (C- Farjestad/Sweden)
25. BOSTON BRUINS- Jordan Caron (RW- Rimouski/QMJHL)
26. Anaheim Ducks- Kyle Palmieri (F- U18/USDP)
27. Carolina Hurricanes- Philippe Paradis (C- Shawinigan/QMJHL)
28. Chicago Blackhawks- Dylan Olsen (D- Camrose/AJHL)
29. Tampa Bay Lightning- Carter Ashton (RW- Lethbridge/WHL)
30. Pittsburgh Penguins- Simon Despres (D- Saint John/QMJHL)

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