2009-10: John McCarron skated in 58 games for the Lincoln Stars in his first full season in the USHL. After scoring two goals in 19 games with the Stars in 2008-09, McCarron chipped in offensively and was a physical force on a Stars team that finished with the USHL's second-worst record and was last in the West Division. McCarron finished the season with 7 goals and 19 assists and was minus-10 with 114 penalty minutes.
2010-11: McCarron was the second-leading scorer for Lincoln as the Stars were one of the USHL's big turnaround stories – finishing fourth in the West Division. In 60 games he scored a team-leading 24 goals with 33 assists and was plus-11 with 113 penalty minutes. In the playoffs, Lincoln was swept by Fargo in a two-game playoff series and McCarron was scoreless and minus-three with 4 penalty minutes. He committed to playing college hockey at Cornell in 2011-12. McCarron went undrafted in the 2011 NHL Draft in his second year of eligibility.
2011-12: McCarron steadily increased his productivity in his first year at Cornell – skating in 35 games as a freshman. Playing on a line with fellow freshman Joel Lowry, a Kings prospect, and senior Sean Collins, McCarron scored five of his six goals after January, including a goal against Michigan in the Big Red's NCAA tournament win, and had 13 assists; finishing plus-1 with 61 penalty minutes for the season. Cornell finished second in the ECAC Hockey League and won the conference's consolation game in the playoffs. After defeating Michigan the Big Red were knocked off 2-1 by eventual NCAA runner-up Ferris State in the Midwest Regional final. McCarron was not among the 210 North American skaters in Central Scouting's final rankings but was selected by Edmonton in the 6th round (153rd overall) of the 2012 NHL Draft.
2012-13: McCarron played in 33 of 34 games for Cornell as a sophomore. Primarily teamed with senior winger John Esposito on the second and third lines for the Big Red, he scored 7 goals with 12 assists and was an even plus/minus with a team-high 99 penalty minutes. Cornell finished tied for ninth in ECAC Hockey but was 4-1-1 in its final six regular season games and pushed first place Quinnipiac to three games in the conference quarterfinals after sweeping Princeton in a preliminary series. McCarron had a goal and an assist in the Princeton series and had an assist in the win over Quinnipiac.
McCarron is a big body forward that plays a smart game, uses his size well and has the physicality down low near the opponent's net. He does not appear at this time to have a big offensive upside but the strong winger has three more years of development at the NCAA level to improve his overall game.
McCarron has been named as captain of the Cornell Big Red for the 2013-14 season, a big honor for a junior. This will give him a great opportunity to further develop in a leadership role and increase his offensive production.