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It wasn't a surprise for Seth Jones to have made it this far. The 19 year old was the Nashville Predators' 1st round selection in the 2013 NHL Entry Draft. With oodles of talent, Jones cracked the Preds defense core that has sorely missed a key piece since the departure of Ryan Suter. Here's a look at Seth Jones' early start to his career.
Through 10 games this season, Jones has 2 goals and 2 assists for 4 points. His high point of the season was a game-winning goal versus Montreal this past Saturday. Jones did a nice curl and drag before putting the puck past goaltender Carey Price to give the Preds a 2-1 lead late in the 3rd period. It's safe to say the offensive side of Jones' game is coming along.
Jones' first goal was a big slapshot on the powerplay, something the Preds are hoping the Plano, Texas native will help greatly improve. All the hype prior to the draft surrounded Jones' offensive abilities – his ability to jump in the rush and his puck-moving abilities. We've seen some pinches. Some haven't worked overly well.
Jones' defensive game could certainly use some work. While he has shown some signs of potential greatness in his own end, some of his pinches and judgement calls have been suspect. Those have made things a little tougher for defense partner, Shea Weber who now plays with Jones following the injury to defenseman Roman Josi.
Don't get me wrong. It's clear Jones' defensive play will come to fruition. This coaching staff treats young defensemen well. They guide and challenge the D prospects when it's wise to do so. I'm sure the addition of Phil Housley as assistant coach is playing a factor. Head coach Barry Trotz is not afraid to challenge Jones. He knows that Jones can handle big minutes and as a result, he's given him big minutes. I guess that just comes with playing alongside a superstar like Weber.
Even with Jones' tremendous offensive abilities, this team will still be offensively-challenged. They showed that on Tuesday night against Minnesota. Of course, not every game will be a gem but the Preds can't lean too hard on Jones. But we'll trust Trotz' judgement on this one.
I'll give Jones a 4.5/5 stars for his play so far this season. 4 stars for his D and 5 stars for his offense. He's contributing how he needs to be and has played well enough in front of goaltender Pekka Rinne. Big, bold things are only going to come with Jones. And we're all excited about that.