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Edit: Drafted 25th Overall by the Montreal Canadiens.
I realize that I have ranked Mike McCarron far lower than most of my contemporaries who are also posting scouting reports, and draft previews. I realize that some have him as a first round or early 2nd round pick, and here I am ranking him at 60. I also admit that my voice here is in the minority, and I predict he will be drafted far higher than my ranking. This will be reflected in the mock drafts I will be posting later. One thing to remember about my rankings is that they are the my personal opinions on best player available, and not where I think the player will be picked. With that in mind, you can read my report on McCarron, and at the end I will explain why I’ve put him so much lower in my rankings than many others.
McCarron has spent the season with the United States National Team Development Program. He played for the squad at the IIHF Under 18 World Championships, and helped them to a silver medal. McCarron is committed to the Western Michigan Broncos of the NCAA. Should he decide to change his mind and go the CHL Route, his rights are owned by the OHL’s London Knights.
Born Mar 7 1995 — Macomb, MI
Height 6’5.5″ Weight 234 Lbs — Shoots Right
McCarron is an absolute monster of a man at 6’5.5″ and 234 pounds. The physical dimensions alone will have scouts salivating over his power forward potential. He certainly plays a very physical game, hitting a ton, battling on the boards, and getting to the dirty areas of the ice. In terms of offence he has a powerful wrist shot. However his release is slow and it takes too long to load up which means it becomes telegraphed. This is something that will need to improve if he wants to score at the next level. I also feel that his stickhandling and playmaking skill are at a below average level given other potential power forwards in this draft class. McCarron’s offensive game can sometimes show spurts, such as a good game vs the Russians in the Semi Final of the Under 18. However I think his upside as a big time point producer is limited.
McCarron is a good skater for his size. For a big man, he has very good straight line speed and acceleration. His first step quickness is a little bit sluggish and his acceleration is merely average. His agility is good for his size, but really is not anything to write home about. He is extremely strong on his skates though and it is difficult to knock him off the puck.
McCarron is good defensively, and brings his robust physical game at both ends of the rink. He’s a hard worker who backchecks hard, covers his man and is willing to cut down passing lanes, and block shots. His long stick and good skating ability helps him on the penalty kill, where he steals pucks and can even create short handed chances in transition.
I see Mike McCarron as being similar in style to Brian Boyle or a Michael Rupp. I see his potential and ceiling as a third liner who brings big time physical presence to his team. He’s defensively responsible and can kill penalties. The reason I have him ranked so much lower than others, is that I just don’t see the top 6 upside here for the reasons I mentionned. My own personal philosophy is that with high draft picks, you should shy away from this type of player (even if they are a relatively safe bet to make the NHL) in order to go for a player with higher upside to play as a top 6 forward, or top 4 defenceman or starting goalie. The fact is that even the best third liners become available via trade and free agency and cost a lot less comparitively in a salary cap world than top line talent. The opportunity to get top talent on ELCs is too much for any team to pass up IMO, in order to take a safer player that can also develop out of a later round pick, or can be acquired in other ways. The top line talent rarely, if ever, makes it to free agency, and even when it does that type of player is so rare that supply and demand drives the cost way up. Its about maximizing your picks and their usefulness to an NHL team.
Check back tomorrow for another NHL draft feature.
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