WILMINGTON — Jordan Caron feels that Friday’s call-up was a long time coming, but a myriad of factors — the lockout, injuries and inconsistency — made his wait to resume his NHL  career a little longer.
Caron, who was drafted 25th overall by the Bruins in 2009, was called up and sent down over half a dozen times last season, but he strung together some success at this time last year. From March 4 to March 10, Caron had points in four straight games, scoring three goals and adding four assists for seven points.
When the Bruins traded Benoit Pouliot in the offseason and Brian Rolston  did not return, it appeared Caron could be destined to finally be given a full-time shot for the B’s after going up and down between Boston and Providence in his first two seasons. That didn’t happen, as the lockout forced him to begin the season in Providence, where he suffered a shoulder injury that kept him out of training camp when the NHL  finally got the ball rolling in January.
“I had a really good second half last year, and I wanted to come here this year and keep going in the same path,” he said. “Obviously with the lockout, it didn’t go that way. Going down to Providence, I wasn’t really happy about it, but there was nothing I could do. I just wanted to go out there and play and be ready for the when the [NHL ] season would start.”
It wasn’t the only injury he had to deal with. After Caron returned from his shoulder injury, he took to the face on Jan. 31 (there is still a noticeable cut under his right eye), which caused him to miss time. Factor in that he wasn’t playing necessarily well in Providence (10 goals, five assists in 44 games), and there’s more than enough evidence that it’s been a frustrating season for the 22-year-old winger.
“I wanted to be here,” he said. “With the lockout, it was kind of bad luck, but I was trying to focus as much as I could in Providence. I’m not having my best season ever, but I think right now, just being here, it’s like a new season, a new start. Hopefully I can get it going even better.”
The good news for Caron is that he has picked it up of late, with four goals and three assists for seven points over his last nine games. He attributes his recent success to being put on a line with Christian Hanson and Bobby Robins, which he says has allowed him to “get back to basics.”
With Chris Bourque down in Providence, it would appear Caron’s new linemates figure to be Chris Kelly  and Rich Peverley  when he gets into the lineup. Caron skated with the line in Friday’s practice, splitting left wing duties with Jay Pandolfo. Claude Julien  wouldn’t say after Friday’s practice whether the B’s intend to get Caron into the lineup Saturday against the Flyers, but Caron would welcome a reunion with Kelly after spending time on his line last season.
“Obviously Kells is a really good defensive player and is really smart on the ice,” Caron said. “For my part, my job is to go on the forecheck and create turnovers, so I know with Kells, I’ve just got to go and not think about posting up as the third man.”
In 71 career NHL  games, Caron has 10 goals and 12 assists for the Bruins. Despite how long ago it may have been, he’s still encouraged by what he was able to do in the second half of last season, and the Bruins expect him to build on it.
“I thought he played pretty well at the end of last year,” Julien said. “He’s a big body. He’s strong along the walls. We asked him to do some things in Providence this year — take pucks to the net and go to the net — and he’s done that. It’s about giving him that opportunity now to show us that he’s gotten better.”