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Michael McCarron and Montreal Canadiens agree on a one-year, two-way contract

The 2013 first-round pick gets another shot in the organization.

Club de Hockey Canadien

The Montreal Canadiens announced that they have re-signed restricted free agent forward Michael McCarron to a one-year, two-way contract.

McCarron was drafted in the first round by the Canadiens in 2013, and completed his Junior eligibility in 2015 by winning the Memorial Cup with the Oshawa Generals. He scored 17 goals in his strong rookie season with the AHL St. John’s IceCaps, but then saw a serious decline in his play after an initial call-up to the Canadiens.

He split the 2016-17 season between St. John’s and Montreal. After a rather lacklustre stint in the NHL, he returned to the AHL for the IceCaps’ lone playoff run.

His first season with the Laval Rocket in 2017-18 was definitely one to forget. He was relegated to a checking line with Yannick Veilleux and Jeremy Grégoire, where his goal output dropped from 17 in his rookie season to just seven. He was invisible on most nights, with only his discipline issues being apparent as he compiled a career-high 121 penalty minutes.

When Joël Bouchard took over the farm team in 2018-19, there was a renewed sense of purpose for McCarron. He found himself back in a first-line centre role where he excelled, using his newly developed skating stride and strength to frequently overpower opponents. A long-standing injury ended his season after only 32 games, but he still managed to tie his goal output of the previous two seasons and rekindle hope for his place in the organization.

It’s this rejuvenated McCarron who the Canadiens hope to see in 2019-20, because that player clearly has a place with the Rocket, and could even find himself back with the Canadiens in a bottom-six role.