2013 First-Round Pick Seth Jones Signs His First NHL Deal

Wednesday, 07.10.2013 / 4:08 PM CT / Features
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2013 First-Round Pick Seth Jones Signs His First NHL Deal

By: Jonathan Rawson

When it came time for Nashville to make the fourth overall selection in the 2013 NHL Entry Draft, their number one man, Seth Jones was still on the board, and Predators President of Hockey Operations/General Manager David Poile could not have been more elated.

Today, Seth Jones, signed a three-year entry-level contract with the team. The contract has a base salary of $925,000 with maximum rookie contract signing bonuses giving him a salary cap number of $3.225 million.

“Seth is a special prospect and we were fortunate to be in position to select him,” Poile said. “As a player, he brings so much to our organization, from size you can’t teach to a skill set that every team hopes to add and a personality and maturity that will allow him to grow and develop with our veteran core and other young players.”

Poile is not alone in his excitement. Jones, still glistening with sweat from the morning development camp skate at the Predators’ practice facility at Centennial Sportsplex, echoed Poile’s enthusiasm.

“This is one of the best days of my life and career, so far,” Jones said. “Hopefully there are a lot of good days to come, but this is surreal still. I am very happy to be here right now.”

Entering the 2013 draft, Jones was ranked the top North American skater by NHL Central Scouting. Jones had a brilliant 2012-13 rookie campaign with the WHL’s Portland Winterhawks, finishing the regular season with 14 goals and 42 assists, totaling 56 points which was the highest point total amongst WHL rookie blueliners. He added to his already impressive numbers with 15 points (5g-10a) in 21 WHL playoff games as the Winterhawks captured the 2013 WHL Championship. Following the season, Jones was awarded the Jim Piggott Trophy as the WHL’s Rookie of the Year.

In addition to his spectacular year, Jones was able to play alongside forward Brendan Leipsic. Leipsic, who was drafted by the Predators in the third round of the 2012 NHL Entry Draft, shared the WHL lead in scoring and signed a three-year entry-level contract with Nashville on May 23, 2013.

Jones has been one of the most widely discussed prospects since he was just 14-years old. After being featured in Sports Illustrated’s “Where Will They Be?” issue in 2009, he has been praised for both his size, skill and, specifically, his prolific skating ability. Jones attended USA Hockey’s National Team Development Program in Ann Arbor, Mich., where he first caught the eye of Nashville Predators Chief Amateur Scout Jeff Kealty.

“We have been watching Seth for a couple of years now,” Kealty said. “When he first came to the U.S. program in Ann Arbor, I can remember the first time seeing him…we saw how big he was and how smooth he was at such a young age. We saw his upside and how good he was going to be. You knew he was going to be a high pick…we know he’s going to be a huge part of our future.”

There to support his son, 11-year NBA veteran Ronald “Popeye” Jones sat smiling ear-to-ear, knowing he had an influential hand in where his son sat today. While playing for the Denver Nuggets in 1999, the elder Jones learned his sons took a keen interest in hockey. In an effort to facilitate the introduction to the ice, he approached long-time Avalanche center Joe Sakic to find out what he should do to help his sons get started. Sakic advised that since the Jones boys were bound to be big men, start them with skating lessons before trying hockey. It was the elder Jones’ inquisition that laid the foundation for his son to become one of the most exciting prospects in recent history. Additionally, Seth Jones joins the Predators with a noted maturity that surpasses his 18 years.

“As I have said to Seth and his dad, very good parenting,” Poile said. “They have done a very good job. Good parenting and good mentors along the way and we’re very proud to have Seth as a player and a person joining our organization.”

As Jones signed his contract with an official Predators pen, smiles abounded from front-office personnel, coaches and media members alike. Having previously addressed the struggles of last season and the frustration of the off-season prior, David Poile cheerfully presented Jones with his home gold jersey.

While standing for photos, Poile said with a smile, “Seth will wear number three for us; hopefully for a long, long time.”

SCHEDULE
 

HOME
AWAY
PROMOTIONAL

STANDINGS
 

WESTERN CONFERENCE
  TEAM GP W L OT GF GA PTS
1 z - ANA 82 51 24 7 228 221 109
2 y - STL 82 51 24 7 239 197 109
3 x - NSH 82 47 25 10 226 202 104
4 x - CHI 82 48 28 6 220 186 102
5 x - VAN 82 48 29 5 236 220 101
6 x - MIN 82 46 28 8 227 198 100
7 x - WPG 82 43 26 13 223 204 99
8 x - CGY 82 45 30 7 237 213 97
9 LAK 82 40 27 15 218 197 95
10 DAL 82 41 31 10 257 257 92
11 COL 82 39 31 12 209 223 90
12 SJS 82 40 33 9 224 226 89
13 EDM 82 24 44 14 193 276 62
14 ARI 82 24 50 8 165 267 56

STATS

2014-2015 REGULAR SEASON
SKATERS: GP G A +/- Pts
F. Forsberg 82 26 37 15 63
M. Ribeiro 82 15 47 11 62
R. Josi 81 15 40 15 55
S. Weber 78 15 30 15 45
C. Smith 82 23 21 11 44
C. Wilson 77 20 22 19 42
M. Fisher 59 19 20 4 39
J. Neal 67 23 14 12 37
R. Ellis 58 9 18 8 27
S. Jones 82 8 19 3 27
 
GOALIES: W L OT Sv% GAA
P. Rinne 41 17 6 .923 2.18
C. Hutton 6 7 4 .902 2.61