Newark, N.J. – With the fourth selection in the 2013 NHL Entry Draft, the Nashville Predators selected defenseman Seth Jones from the Portland Winterhawks on Sunday afternoon at the Prudential Center in Newark, N.J. At 6-4, 206-pounds, Jones is an excellent puck-moving defenseman who uses his size, physical play, speed and hockey sense to play a solid defensive game while also creating offense from the blueline.
“We had Seth Jones rated No. 1 because we think he is a terrific player,” President of Hockey Operations/General Manager David Poile said. “Any of the top four players would have been great, but Seth is a franchise-type player. I really feel good about the direction our defense is headed.”
Jones, (10/3/94), was ranked the No. 1 North American skater by NHL Central Scouting after finishing the 2012-13 season with 14 goals and 42 assists for 56 points to go with a +46 rating in 61 games as Portland posted its best regular-season record in franchise history. That point total led all WHL rookie blueliners. He added another five goals and 15 points in 21 WHL playoff games as the Winterhawks captured the 2013 WHL Championship. Jones, who won the Jim Piggott Trophy as the WHL’s Rookie of the Year, played alongside current Preds prospect Brendan Leipsic during the 2012-13 season.
Internationally, Jones served as alternate captain of Team USA at the 2013 World Junior Championships, and helped lead the Americans, who were coached by Preds assistant coach Phil Housley, to the gold medal after posting seven points (1g-6a) and a +8 rating in seven tournament games. In 2012, he captained the Under-18 team to gold at the World Championship, finishing second in team scoring with eight points (3g-5a). He also claimed gold at the World Under-18 Championships in 2011.
“We were thrilled that he was there at four,” Nashville’s Chief Amateur Scout Jeff Kealty said. “He’s a terrific defenseman and a world-class player that can do it all, both offensively and defensively. He’s six-foot-four. He can skate. He can carry the puck up ice, make plays, defend, and he’s only going to get better. We’re thrilled to add him to our core that we have on defense. We feel like we have a real bright future there.”
Rounds 2-7 of the Entry Draft continue this afternoon with the Predators holding eight more selections: No. 64 (third round), Nos. 95, 99 and 112 (fourth round), and Nos. 125 and 140 (fifth round), Nos. 155 and 171 (sixth round) and No. 185 (seventh round).
WHAT THEY ARE SAYING ABOUT SETH JONES:
NHL Central Scouting director Dan Marr: "Seth has always risen to any challenge that's been put in front of him. He makes his mistakes, but we can see how he learns from the mistakes. And whenever he's challenged in big games, he rises to the occasion."
NHL Central Scouting’s B.J. MacDonald: “Seth is a big, rangy defenseman who has a nice command of his shifts. He has the ability to be a game-changer because he has good instincts and awareness. He’s an underrated passer, possesses solid one-on-one play and can skate the puck out of danger at any time. He’s already the complete package, but I get the feeling he still has another gear to go to.”
TSN analyst Bob McKenzie: "He is an impressive blend of size, strength, skating, skill, and an ability to dominate both offensively and physically.”
Red Line Report founder Kyle Woodlief: "Jones represents as complete a package as we've seen in any defenseman over the past decade. With his mix of size, puck skills, natural athleticism and poise, Jones can dominate and take over games at both ends of the ice, and has an impact on the game in every aspect.''
Hockey Prospectus Analyst Corey Pronman: "His best trait is his clearly elite hockey sense. He is advanced way beyond his years. He makes a multitude of good defensive plays with positioning, stick work and anticipation. He seems to always to be a step ahead of everyone else. This is evident in his offensive ability as well. He knows when to pinch, and he can exhibit high levels of offensive skill, creativity and vision. Jones has a cannon from the point, which can make him a very dangerous player on the power play. He is a big man with a ton of weapons.''
SETH JONES FAST FACTS:
· Seth’s father, Ronald “Popeye” Jones, hails from Dresden, Tenn. He is currently an assistant coach for the Brooklyn Nets and played with seven NBA teams from 1993-2004.
· Seth’s younger brother, Caleb, will follow in big brother’s footsteps after being drafted by Portland in the 2012 WHL Bantam Draft.
· Comparable players: Scott Niedermayer (retired – Anaheim Ducks/New Jersey Devils), Rob Blake (retired – Los Angeles/Colorado)
· The highest selected African American in NHL history
· On Twitter @seth_jones3
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