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 has the hockey sense, work ethic, character and offensive skills to fit anywhere in the line-up. He has excellent puck protection skills down low and good hands around the opposition's net. He has played center or winger and loves crashing and banging on the fore check or playing in the dirty areas. He is willing to drop the gloves when necessary. McCarron's skating is very good for a big man but his balance, agility and acceleration continues to evolve. He projects as a possible power forward that could play in the top-nine at the NHL level.
McCarron will compete for a lower line role with Montreal in training camp in 2015-16. While he is eligible to return to the OHL for an overage season, he will likely begin his pro career with Canadiens' AHL affiliate St. John's. Long-term he is expected to one day be a top-six forward with a physical component to go along with his scoring ability. Reaching his full potential could take some time but his skill set fills a need on the Canadiens' NHL roster.