Name: Justin Barron Team: Halifax Mooseheads League: QMJHL
Skating: 8.5/10 Skill: 7/10 Smarts: 7.5/10 Shot: 8/10 Compete: 8/10
November 13th, 2019: Productive night for Justin Barron on the power play. The defenseman of the week in the QMJHL got 2 passes. As the point man of this unit, he fed well Raphaël Lavoie. He took the middle with the head up, attracted the penalty killer and he just had to do quick pass that gave open-ice for his half-wall guys.
He sometimes let go his usual low slap shot, perfect for rebounds. Even though he often stood still on the blue line, Barron was still an offensive thread. He jumped on the rush whenever he had the chance (he even did it on the penalty kill to outnumber Blainville-Boisbriand), did some good reverses with his forwards along the board and of course, fired the puck to the net. However, Barron didn’t try to do too much offensively and calculated well his opportunities to leave his position, which is exactly in his character.
Transition-wise, he liked to stay wide in neutral zone and he communicated a lot to Patrick Kyte, his pairing. He didn’t cause a lot of mistake which is an upgrade to his previous games. Good thing to remark, his passes were really really hard on tape. This strength in his wrist are pretty useful for long passes. Only downside, he didn’t move his feet enough, and this can also apply to his game in general. We all know, Barron has a fantastic north-south skating, but his quickfeet and pivots clearly don’t have the same speed. This then gave way too much time and space to his man when he had to press him in defensive zone and it set him vulnerable when he didn’t take a good gap. At least, his stick and frame helped him to make it up for this .
Since Benoit-Olivier Groulx took 8 minutes of penalty, Barron played a lot on the penalty kill. He did a great job out there but he didn’t move his head enough so the backdoor player at times fooled him. His defensive game is his biggest strength and it was easy to identify it. Barron was awesome to shut down rushes and anticipate passes. Something worth to notice, when Kyte was being tackled and grabbed because of the big hit he threw, Barron didn’t hesitate a second to jump in the scrimmage and defend his mate. He also showed great endurance since I’m pretty sure he almost played 30 minutes with all these penalties.
Justin Barron can sometimes make soft pass and bad decision but he still stay the most important defenseman for Halifax and a guy on who you can always rely on.