2009-10: Mike McCarron played for the Honeybaked U16 team in Michigan as a 14-year-old – skating in 28 games and scoring 12 goals with 16 assists and 44 penalty minutes.
2010-11: McCarron played 38 games for the Honeybaked U18 midget major team. He scored 6 goals with 12 assists and had 88 penalty minutes in 38 games. McCarron was invited to the USA Hockey Select 15 Development Camp and committed to playing college hockey at Michigan State in 2013-14. He was selected by Belleville in the sixth round (107th overall) in the 2011 OHL Priority Draft.
2011-12: McCarron joined the USA National Team Development Program in Ann Arbor, Michigan. Skating for the NTDP U17 team he scored 6 goals with 21 assists and led the team with 128 penalty minutes in 53 games. he scored 1 goal with 1 assist in the 2011 U17 Four Nations Tournament and had 1 assist in the 2012 U18 Vlad Dzurilla Tournament as the USA U17 teams finished first in both tournaments. USA placed second in the 2012 U17 World Hockey Challenge in Canada and McCarron scored 1 goal, a game-tying goal in the semifinal win over Sweden, with 1 assist in five games. He was selected by Lincoln in the fifth round (74th overall) of the 2012 USHL Entry Draft and the London Knights obtained his OHL rights from Belleville in a June 2012 trade.
2012-13: McCarron returned to Ann Arbor to play for the NTDP’s U18 team and was part of the silver medal USA squad at the 2013 U18 World Junior Championship in Sochi, Russia. He scored 14 goals with 20 assists and was plus-six with a team-high 180 penalty minutes in 55 games during the season. In seven games in Sochi he scored 3 goals, including a goal in the 3-2 gold medal game loss to Canada, and was an even plus/minus with 2 assists and 14 penalty minutes. In November 2012 he announced that he would play college hockey at Western Michigan instead of Michigan State. McCarron was ranked 35th amongst North American skaters in the Central Scouting final rankings and was selected by Montreal in the first round (25th overall) in the 2013 NHL Draft.
2013-14: McCarron signed a three-year entry-level contract with Montreal in July 2013, foregoing college hockey to play for the OHL’s London Knights. He scored 14 goals with 20 assists and was +11 in 66 regular season games, leading the Knights with 120 penalty minutes. London finished third in the Midwest Division, advancing to the second round in the OHL playoffs, and participated in the Memorial Cup as the host team. McCarron scored 3 goals with 2 assists and was +6 with 22 penalty minutes in nine OHL playoff games and was -2 with no points and 6 penalty minutes in three Memorial Cup games.
2014-15: McCarron attended his second training camp with Montreal before returning to London for his second season of junior hockey. He played 25 games with the Knights before being traded to Oshawa along with defenseman Dakota Mermis (Arizona) in a multi-player trade in January 2015. McCarron scored 28 goals with 40 assists in 56 regular season games between the two clubs and was +25 with 128 penalty minutes. The Generals finished first in the East Division and defeated Western Conference champion Erie in the OHL finals to advance to the Memorial Cup. McCarron scored 9 goals with 9 assists and was +3 with 33 penalty minutes in 21 playoff games. He scored 1 goal with 2 assists and was -1 with 7 penalty minutes in four Memorial Cup games. Oshawa defeated WHL champion Kelowna, 2-1 in overtime, in the championship game.
McCarron proved to be a leader on both the London Knights and Oshawa Generals, and his work ethic proved to be a strong suit. He improved his durability and conditioning while maintaining his hard-nosed play and drive towards the net. McCarron can lay the body and use his strong frame to protect the puck in corners and in dirty areas. He has improvised his flexibility by playing the center position and showcasing a natural play-making side to his game. He will need to continue working on his conditioning and durability to keep up at the pro level. He has the tools to become a top-six power forward at the NHL level, but could drop off a notch into the top-nine role.
Going from junior to the NHL may be a possibility for McCarron, given his ability to play at the center position and his imposing size being two big needs in Montreal. His likely destination will be in St. John's to start the 2014-15 season, unless he impresses at training camp.