Last season, Justin Barron consistently showed decent skill and a promising all-around game, and it was expected he’d really take off in his third QMJHL campaign. But instead he seemed stuck in neutral when he was healthy and endured a setback when a blood clot kept him on the sidelines for almost three months.
It also didn’t help that he played for a rebuilding team. Still, some scouts see a skill set that will intrigue NHL teams. “He’s a really good skater with good size, and he’s a right shot,” said one scout. “He doesn’t generate a ton of offense, but he can join the rush to make a four-man attack, and that’s how he can get points. He was the best defenseman in both games when the ‘Q’ played Russia.”
Other evaluators are less excited but still see value in Barron’s game. “He’s kind of a vanilla, but in a spicy vanilla way,” said another scout. “He doesn’t make a lot of mistakes. He’s in good position, he takes up space, he doesn’t get beat 1-on-1, and he makes a good first pass, but you can’t really say he creates a lot of offense or that he’s very physical. He’s not a shutdown defender.”