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Posted: Saturday, July 16, 2005 12:06 am EDT
NORTH ANDOVER, Mass. -- Sophomore defenseman Jeff Caron has left Merrimack to play for the expansion Saint John (New Brunswick) Sea Dogs of the Quebec Major Junior Hockey League (QMJHL).
Caron, a native of Moncton, N.B., leaves Merrimack with two years of NCAA eligibility remaining. He will turn 20 in December.
"I just felt there would be a better opportunity for me to further develop in Saint John," said Caron to the New Brunswick Times & Transcript. "I wouldn't be leaving school if I didn't want to play pro hockey."
In 2004-05, Caron led the Warriors with 20 assists and added five goals for 25 points, good for third on the team. In his two years at Merrimack, he had six goals and 25 assists for 31 points in 68 games along with 53 penalty minutes. Caron was named as the Hockey East Player of the Week in December 2004 after tallying five assists in two games against Minnesota and Harvard to help the Warriors to a third-place finish in the Dodge Holiday Classic.
"I learned a lot in Division I," Caron told the Times & Transcript. "Guys can be as old as 25 or 26.
"They really showed me the ropes and made me grow up fast. I hope next year I can show my teammates that I did learn something and pass that on to the younger guys."
Caron had been left unprotected by Prince Edward Island in the QMJHL expansion draft before being chosen by Saint John in the 15th round of the draft on June 1st. He was ranked 140th among North American skaters in the NHL Central Scouting mid-term report.
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