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NHL Comparison: Brian Boyle
Comparing Michael McCarron's game to an established NHLer is quite difficult seeing as his development is still in its infancy. In fact, the only thing scouts tend to agree on about McCarron is that if his skill level develops, he could be a dominant power forward in the league.
But that's a big if.
McCarron is having a rough year after being drafted in the first round in June. Playing with the London Knights in the OHL, he has just 12 points in 29 games this season.
His mediocre play so far in 2013-14 has cost him a spot on the USA's World Junior squad, a team he was expected to make given his strong play last year at the World Under-18 Championships.
Maybe this will be the wake-up call the youngster needs.
Assuming he is able to get his development back on track, Brian Boyle of the New York Rangers seems like a reasonable NHL comparison.
Like McCarron, Boyle was a late first-round draft pick of the Los Angeles Kings (26th overall) back in 2003.
Both players are huge, with Boyle at 6'7", 244 lbs and McCarron at 6'5", 228 lbs.
Entering his draft year, Boyle was known as a strong skater for someone of his size. HockeysFuture.com says McCarron's "skating is very good for a big man but still needs improvement with his balance, agility and acceleration."
Brian Boyle is not an NHL superstar, but he is a good checking-line center that most NHL teams would love to roster. Habs fans can hope for more, but seeing McCarron develop into a player like Boyle certainly wouldn't be the end of the world.
For his part, McCarron compares himself to a couple of pretty elite NHL players, via Neate Sager from Yahoo! Sports' Buzzing the Net blog:
I have two guys: Milan Lucic and Rick Nash. Nash, the way he protects the puck and takes pucks to the net, I think I can have. The toughness of Lucic, I think I can have. That goes back to the idea that I can play on any line. Lucic, he can play on the third line and grind, or play on the first line.
McCarron's NHL comparisons of himself are certainly a lot more exciting than that of most scouts. Let's hope he knows his game better than they do.