Michael McCarron was the only Montreal Canadiens prospect participating in the Memorial Cup, but his tournament is over after just three games.
The London Knights hosted the tournament that features the best Junior teams in Canada, and went winless in the round robin, eliminating them from contention.
The Knights opened the tournament after being on the sidelines for five weeks since they were knocked out of the Ontario Hockey League in the second round by the Guelph Storm. Their first game was against the Quebec Major Junior Hockey League champion Val d’Or Foreurs, and though the Knights fired 51 shots on goal, they were shutout by Antoine Bibeau and lost 1-0.
London’s second game pitted them against the Edmonton Oil Kings, the champions of the Western Hockey League. London fired 40 shots at the Oil Kings goaltender Tristan Jarry, and beat him twice, but ultimately lost the game 5-2.
This set up a do or die game against the Storm, who won the OHL championship after defeating the Knights in the postseason. London quickly fell behind 2-0, but were able to claw their way back to within one goal and make it 3-2 for the Storm in the second period.Guelph however, answered with four unanswered goals, and defeated the Knights 7-2.
McCarron, the big winger who was the 25th overall pick in last year’s draft by the Habs, failed to register a point in the Knights three games. He played on a third line with Mitchell Marner and Brett Welychka, and the trio only combined for two points in the tournament.
McCarron’s struggles have led some to say it may not have been a great idea to draft the hulking winger with a first round pick. Sure, McCarron did not dominate the Memorial Cup tournament, but to say he is going to be a bust because of a three game tournament is ridiculous.
McCarron’s best asset is his size, and he uses it well to shelter the puck and keep it away from his opponents. He will never be a point per game player, but really stepped up his offensive game down the stretch of the OHL regular season, and chipped in five points in nine postseason games.
The London Knights may have had a miserable week on their home ice, and McCarron was not great either. That doesn’t mean he still can’t develop into an excellent third line winger for the Montreal Canadiens in a few years.