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02-16-2014, 02:51 PM
Grant McCagg
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Originally Posted by JenniferHanson531 View Post
As a Knights fan, I wanted to chime in. This comment coming to fruition is highly unlikely.

McCarron's improved a lot of facets about his game lately -- namely, his compete level. He's winning a higher share of battles, getting more pucks to the net, and his defensive game's morphed solidly. More importantly, McCarron's elevated his mental speed by quite a bit. His decision-making's accelerated by a hefty margin.

That said, imporovements should be evaluated under the context of the competition. 45.5% of McCarron's goals were potted against #20 Sarnia. 50% of McCarron's points came against #18, #19, & #20 in the OHL - Kitchener, Belleville, and Sarnia. No doubt McCarron's recent play has been stellar, and he's proved to be a world-beater against this trio, but one would be hard-pressed to find a player at this juncture of the season with this large a sample size and point total who maintains similar extremes on both accounts.

Re- next year, Welychka's locked in to return, and at least 1 of the Ruperts is highly probable. McCarron will be a Top-6 Forward, but the 1C is improbable, IMO. Given what a few of us Knights posters know, I find it unlikely London's plans are to pair him indefinitely with Marner.
Did you read the next line I wrote after the one you quoted?

"Mind you..Marner may be at center next year...regardless, it's shaping up for McCarron to be playing a top six role next season, along with power play and hopefully penalty killing duties."

Anyway - nothing you wrote discounts the possibility of McCarron vying for the top center spot, the opportunity might well be there for him. A lot will depend on how he continues to progress and how much work he does in the summer.

Ryan Rupert was a Leaf draft pick, they aren't going to want him returning for a fifth year in London, time for him to take the next step to pro. Their other top offensicve center besides Horvat has been Tierney, and he'll be gone as well.

I have a feeling Rupert's brother Matt will follow his twin, but even if he doesn't and surprisingly returns for a fifth season...more likely he's playing the wing, same for Welychka if he returns as he's played most of the past month on McCarron's wing. At the very least they would likely be part of a second line in London next season.

Besides - how do you know Welychka is 'locked in'? He had a major improvement this season..maybe he gets a minor pro opportunity, and if he does the Hunters aren't going to try to stop him.

You are also discounting the possibility that over the next 40 games or so, this summer, and the start of his second OHL season that McCarron may not improve. He's already done that during this year he'll go from a raw rookie to a 6-6 OHL vet...I expect there to be a large jump in his offensive confidence...and resultant opportunities, especially when he's playing a top-six role, which even you concede is a distinct possibility.

What I wrote is that with graduations McCarron "will be" the number one center "at this point". In the very next sentence I qualified that by saying Marner may be the number one center.

You chose to focus solely on the first statement and discern that I was predicting without question that McCarron "will be" the number one center all of next season. Read it a little more carefully please.

The way things are set up right now..with him being the third center behind both Horvat and Tierney, who likely won't be back..that makes him the projected number one center going into next season.

I didn't use the word projected..I likely would have if I didn't in the very next sentence suggest that Marner may be the number one center next season as opposed to McCarron when it's all said and done. I at no time insisted that McCarron is the unquestioned number one, although if you look at the way things are headed..he has as good an opportunity as anyone. In a Memorial Cup year Hunter likes McCarron over Matt Rupert, Welychka and Marner at center....odds are it's going to be the same next season.

Last edited by Grant McCagg: 02-16-2014 at 07:01 PM.
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