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Hulking prospect McCarron making noise at Habs camp

Michael McCarron

Michael McCarron, a winger, stands with officials from the Montreal Canadiens sweater after being chosen 25th overall in the first round of the NHL hockey draft, Sunday, June 30, 2013, in Newark, N.J. (AP Photo/Bill Kostroun)


This summer, we pegged Michael McCarron as a guy looking to make the leap into Montreal’s lineup.

So far in training camp, he’s done the job.

After scoring a goal and being named the game’s first star in a OT loss to Toronto earlier this week, McCarron jumped into the “A” group at Canadiens camp -- the one filled with veteran NHLers.

“We gave opportunities to players,” head coach Michel Therrien said of the move, per the Gazette. “I think, honestly, it’s still early at camp — we’ve only played one exhibition game.

“A guy like McCarron played a good game yesterday.”

McCarron, the 25th overall pick in ’13, is one of Montreal’s most intriguing prospects, if not the most. The 20-year-old boasts tremendous size — 6-foot-6, 225 pounds — and is coming off a banner junior campaign, in which he scored 68 points in 56 games for OHL London and Oshawa, then another 18 in 21 playoff games, helping the Generals win the Memorial Cup while earning a spot on the tournament all-star team.

Last year’s position change added to the intrigue.

McCarron moved to center in the OHL last year and, as the above numbers and accolades suggest, took to the position well. That’s a big thing for a Montreal team that’s not overly deep down the middle; currently, the club boasts Tomas Plekanec, David Desharnais, Lars Eller and Torrey Mitchell as its centers.

Plekanec is a UFA at season’s end. And Alex Galchenyuk, the No. 3 overall pick in 2012, once thought to be the top-line pivot of the future, has yet to establish himself as a center.

At Wednesday’s practice, McCarron was working at center on a line with Sven Andrighetto and Devante Smith-Pelly.