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Posted On Sunday, 06.30.2013 / 4:52 PM

By Seth Jones -  Special to NHL.com /NHL.com - Seth Jones Draft blog

Seth Jones happy to join Nashville Predators

Seth Jones is a defenseman for the Portland Winterhawks of the Western Hockey League. The 6-foot-4, 205-pounder has solid athletic bloodlines -- his father, Popeye Jones, played 11 seasons in the NBA. The top-ranked player in NHL Central Scouting's final ranking of North American skaters eligible for the 2013 NHL Draft, Jones was taken with the No. 4 pick by the Nashville Predators. He was named the best professional prospect in the WHL and helped the United States win the gold medal at the 2013 World Junior Championship. Jones has offered to maintain a blog for NHL.com that chronicled his season leading up to the 2013 NHL Draft.

NEWARK, N.J. -- What an amazing day.

I actually slept good last night. I woke up around 8 o'clock. Went and ate breakfast with the family at the prospect breakfast in the hotel. Then I just kind of sat around for two or three hours and waited. And waited. And waited.

It felt like the time was going by really slow. It felt like it was never going to come around.

I got to the arena and did a couple interviews, then I sat down with my family.

I was happy for Nate MacKinnon to go No. 1. He's a great kid. I had a chance to room with him six or seven times now in a span of four years. If I wanted to choose someone to go first, it would be him. I'm very happy for him.

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Posted On Thursday, 06.27.2013 / 4:52 PM

By Seth Jones -  Special to NHL.com /NHL.com - Seth Jones Draft blog

Jones enjoying his first trip to New York City

Seth Jones is a defenseman for the Portland Winterhawks of the Western Hockey League. The 6-foot-4, 205-pounder has solid athletic bloodlines -- his father, Popeye Jones, played 11 seasons in the NBA. The top-ranked player in NHL Central Scouting's final ranking of North American skaters eligible for the 2013 NHL Draft, Jones was named the best professional prospect in the WHL, and helped the United States win the gold medal at the 2013 World Junior Championship. Jones has offered to maintain a monthly blog for NHL.com that will chronicle his season leading up to the 2013 NHL Draft.

NEW YORK -- Hello from the top of the Empire State Building!

I'm finally here in New York and I can't wait for the draft to get here. I got in Wednesday, and when I got to my hotel room, Nathan MacKinnon was there. We have the same agent, so I guess they decided to make us be roommates for the next few days.

We walked around Times Square and it was cool seeing all those people around the city. Then the two of us had dinner out at an Italian restaurant -- I can't remember the name, but the food was good.

It's my first time in New York City, and it's pretty cool. It's very hectic, very crowded. It looks just like the movies -- there's taxis everywhere, people honking horns. But there's also a lot of shopping, a lot of high-end places. It's cool to come here and definitely get this experience.

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Posted On Monday, 06.17.2013 / 4:12 PM

By Seth Jones -  Special to NHL.com /NHL.com - Seth Jones Draft blog

Jones soaking in atmosphere of Stanley Cup Final

Seth Jones is a defenseman for the Portland Winterhawks of the Western Hockey League. The 6-foot-4, 205-pounder has solid athletic bloodlines -- his father, Popeye Jones, played 11 seasons in the NBA. The top-ranked player in NHL Central Scouting's final ranking of North American skaters eligible for the 2013 NHL Draft, Jones was named the best professional prospect in the WHL, and helped the United States win the gold medal at the 2013 World Junior Championship. Jones has offered to maintain a monthly blog for NHL.com that will chronicle his season leading up to the 2013 NHL Draft.

After the Combine in Toronto, I just went home and spent some time with my family just resting up. It was a long season, so we were just hanging out. To pass the time, I've been watching the NHL and NBA playoffs. I want the San Antonio Spurs to win, and they're looking pretty good right now, leading the Miami Heat three games to two. The series isn't over yet, though, so we'll see.

Before attending Game 3 in Boston, I arrived in the city around 1 p.m. [Sunday]. I think Nathan [MacKinnon] got in around 5. So I just waited and hung out around the hotel until he got there. At night, we all got together for dinner and went to the Capital Grille. It was a nice restaurant and I love a good porterhouse steak.


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Posted On Friday, 05.31.2013 / 1:19 PM

By Seth Jones -  Special to NHL.com /NHL.com - Seth Jones Draft blog

Jones heading home after Combine experience

Seth Jones is a defenseman for the Portland Winterhawks of the Western Hockey League. The 6-foot-4, 205-pounder has solid athletic bloodlines -- his father, Popeye Jones, played 11 seasons in the NBA. The top-ranked player in NHL Central Scouting's final ranking of North American skaters eligible for the 2013 NHL Draft, Jones was named the best professional prospect in the WHL, and helped the United States win the gold medal at the 2013 World Junior Championship. Jones has offered to maintain a monthly blog for NHL.com that will chronicle his season leading up to the 2013 NHL Draft.

TORONTO -- Checking in from the NHL Scouting Combine for one final time.

My day started pretty early -- the alarm went off at 7:20 a.m. It was a pretty early morning. I had some breakfast and we left the hotel at 8 a.m. for 8:30 medical testing. That took about two hours, an hour longer than it said on the schedule. Little frustrating, but everyone had to do it.

Then came the fitness testing room. That felt weird, for sure. You have hundreds of people's eyes staring at you and staring a hole through you. Cameras in your face, those sorts of things. It definitely is weird. You take your shirt off and everyone is still staring at you and it feels a little more weird. It definitely was an experience to remember.

I did the height and weight measurements and they tested my body fat, but that was it. I skipped out on the fitness tests. We made the decision a couple days ago. My agent, Pat Brisson, pulled me aside and said how are you feeling and those sorts of things. I've been nursing a couple injuries during the year. He said he thinks that it's best that I take the fitness off. I haven't had time to prepare for it. It was definitely both of our decisions.

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Posted On Thursday, 05.30.2013 / 8:58 PM

By Seth Jones -  Special to NHL.com /NHL.com - Seth Jones Draft blog

Jones ready to relax, prepare for testing

Seth Jones is a defenseman for the Portland Winterhawks of the Western Hockey League. The 6-foot-4, 205-pounder has solid athletic bloodlines -- his father, Popeye Jones, played 11 seasons in the NBA. The top-ranked player in NHL Central Scouting's final ranking of North American skaters eligible for the 2013 NHL Draft, Jones was named the best professional prospect in the WHL, and helped the United States win the gold medal at the 2013 World Junior Championship. Jones has offered to maintain a monthly blog for NHL.com that will chronicle his season leading up to the 2013 NHL Draft.

Hello again from Toronto. Things have been going real well up here. I had about 10 more meetings today. It's pretty exciting. I had Tampa Bay today and I got the chance to meet Steve Yzerman, which is pretty cool.

I also met with Colorado today. I'm not sure who was in the room. I guess Patrick Roy came in today but I didn't get to meet him. Colorado really didn't treat me any different. I talked to a lot of other guys that went in with them and they pretty much asked the same questions -- if I think I'm NHL-ready, what can I bring to the team next year -- that sort of thing.

After the meetings I had an event to announce I signed an endorsement deal with CCM-Reebok. They've been great to me. I finally got it finalized tonight. It feels good to be in a family with a lot of great players -- Carey Price, Sidney Crosby, Ryan Nugent-Hopkins. So it's pretty cool to do that. They have a lot of young guys with Jonathan Huberdeau and Alex Galchenyuk, also. Definitely feels like a big family. The gear is awesome. I switched last summer and I've loved it ever since. I don't see myself going to another brand.

We announced the deal with Nathan MacKinnon and Jonathan Drouin. They're both great players. I've had the chance to play with them and against them a couple times. It's pretty cool sharing some of the same experiences as your friends.


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Posted On Wednesday, 05.29.2013 / 7:36 PM

By Seth Jones -  Special to NHL.com /NHL.com - Seth Jones Draft blog

Ready for the Combine

Seth Jones is a defenseman for the Portland Winterhawks of the Western Hockey League. The 6-foot-4, 205-pounder has solid athletic bloodlines -- his father, Popeye Jones, played 11 seasons in the NBA. The top-ranked player in NHL Central Scouting's final ranking of North American skaters eligible for the 2013 NHL Draft, Jones was named the best professional prospect in the WHL, and helped the United States win the gold medal at the 2013 World Junior Championship. Jones has offered to maintain a monthly blog for NHL.com that will chronicle his season leading up to the 2013 NHL Draft.

Hi everyone!

I arrived in Toronto early Wednesday morning and had nine interviews today. It was a long day.

I've been asked a lot about my experience in the Memorial Cup tournament. It was cool to play against the best teams from all the leagues. You don't normally get to play against them so it's good experience and there are so many great players -- they have all different styles and that's what makes it cool. Halifax deserved that win in the end; they played outstanding hockey in the tournament final.

It was definitely hard to get adjusted to it. You watch video before the game, but only to a certain extent. You just have to do the best you can and play your game. I thought we did a good job, but it's just too bad we didn't win [against Halifax in the Memorial Cup final].

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Posted On Thursday, 03.14.2013 / 8:52 AM

By Seth Jones -  Special to NHL.com /NHL.com - Seth Jones Draft blog

Jones: Gearing up for the WHL playoffs

Seth Jones is a defenseman for the Portland Winterhawks of the Western Hockey League. The 6-foot-4, 205-pound defenseman has solid athletic bloodlines -- his father, Popeye Jones, played 11 seasons in the NBA. The top-ranked player in NHL Central Scouting's midterm ranking of North American skaters eligible for the 2013 NHL Draft, Jones excelled the last two seasons for the U.S. National Team Development Program and won a gold medal with the United States at the 2013 World Junior Championship. Jones has offered to maintain a monthly blog for NHL.com that will chronicle his season leading up to the 2013 NHL Draft.

The past couple of months have been very busy, but exciting at the same time.

The month of February was a roller-coaster for the team. Our high was a five-game winning streak, and our low was a three-game losing streak. Overall, we played some pretty good hockey throughout the month. And we are extremely confident in the way we are playing as a team right now.

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Posted On Thursday, 01.17.2013 / 9:39 AM

By Seth Jones -  Special to NHL.com /NHL.com - Seth Jones Draft blog

Jones reflects on shutout at Top Prospects

Seth Jones is a defenseman for the Portland Winterhawks of the Western Hockey League. The 6-foot-4, 205-pound defenseman has solid athletic bloodlines -- his father, Popeye Jones, played 11 seasons in the NBA. Jones excelled the last two seasons for the U.S. National Team Development Program and won a gold medal with the United States at the 2013 World Junior Championship. Jones has offered to maintain a monthly blog for NHL.com that will chronicle his season leading up to the 2013 NHL Draft.

Hi, everyone. Our team just defeated Team Cherry, 3-0, to win this year's Top Prospects Game. Before leaving for Portland, I thought I would put together a quick victory blog.

I thought our goalies [Spencer Martin and Philippe Desrosiers] played phenomenal. Really, you have to give credit to them for the shutout. They both kind of set the tempo in the defensive zone, and I thought our defensive zone coverage was pretty good.

I thought the top line on Team Cherry -- [Ryan] Hartman, [Nathan] MacKinnon, [Jonathan] Drouin -- had a lot of chances and they created a lot of offensive plays, but luckily for our side they didn't get rewarded.

Laurent Dauphin [of the Chicoutimi Sagueneens] got called up because [Hunter] Shinkaruk was ill, and he played great for us [Wednesday] and was named Team Orr player of the game. He was great in the middle and was rewarded with a goal. He played good at both ends. He's a good player.

In the early stages of the game, you had to get a feel for the game with the ice, the pace and then adjust how you needed to play. Right from the start, I thought the game began very fast and thought it would take a little more time to get the pace up, but it started a lot quicker than I thought it would.

It didn't surprise me that Hartman got into a scrap [with Kerby Rychel] in the first period. That's the way Harts plays. He plays with an edge and knows how to get under the skin of the other team.

Overall, this was a great experience. Anytime you can play against top prospects in the CHL, it's awesome. You kind of get to see where you're at overall among the draft-eligible players. I thought it was a fast-paced game and it was physical out there, too. Right from the start, Hartman had a good hit and, actually, the hits were going both ways, so it was a good overall game.

Now, I'm just looking forward to getting back to Portland for the second half of the season. It should be a lot of fun since we're going pretty good as a team right now. I think we have a nice win streak so we're looking to keep it going.

Thanks for reading.

Follow Seth Jones on Twitter at: @seth_jones04

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Posted On Tuesday, 01.15.2013 / 2:14 PM

By Seth Jones -  Special to NHL.com /NHL.com - Seth Jones Draft blog

Jones discusses No. 1 ranking at midterm

Seth Jones is a defenseman for the Portland Winterhawks of the Western Hockey League. The 6-foot-4, 205-pound defenseman has solid athletic bloodlines -- his father, Popeye Jones, played 11 seasons in the NBA. Jones excelled the last two seasons for the U.S. National Team Development Program and won a gold medal with the United States at the 2013 World Junior Championship. Jones has offered to maintain a monthly blog for NHL.com that will chronicle his season leading up to the 2013 NHL Draft.

Hi everyone!

I just finished up the on-ice testing, so I figured I'd provide some idea what my time has been like leading up to the Top Prospects Game on Wednesday.

During the testing on Tuesday, it was just a matter of going out there and competing a little bit and prove to the scouts and to everyone watching that you deserve to be in this class and just go out do the testing and see what happens.

My roommate here in Halifax is [Portland Winterhawks teammate] Oliver Bjorkstrand. I normally don't room with him on the road, so this is a first. But he's a really good guy, a little quiet and obviously European. Bottom line is if he was quiet I'd ask for a room change, so we're all good.

As far as the testing goes, the on-ice was a little more difficult than the off-ice, which is basically vertical jump, broad jump and little agility testing and medicine ball throws. With the on-ice, you had to think a little bit more and there was one reactionary test where you had to see what color a light was [red or green] and decide which direction you had to go. That was probably the most difficult thing.

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Posted On Saturday, 01.05.2013 / 12:33 PM

By Seth Jones -  Special to NHL.com /NHL.com - Seth Jones Draft blog

Jones relishing one final moment with his team

Seth Jones is a defenseman for the Portland Winterhawks of the Western Hockey League. The 6-foot-4, 205-pound defenseman has solid athletic bloodlines -- his father, Popeye Jones, played 11 seasons in the NBA. Jones excelled the last two seasons for the U.S. National Team Development Program and won a gold medal with the United States at the 2013 World Junior Championship. Jones has offered to maintain a monthly blog for NHL.com that will chronicle his season leading up to the 2013 NHL Draft.

I've won a couple other tournaments, and under-18 golds, but right now, with this gold medal, it's the greatest feeling in my life right now. Nothing compares. The U-18 golds are good, but this is unbelievable.

We stayed off the ice yesterday. Coach Housley asked Jake McCabe, our captain, if he thought we needed a practice and he said we needed more rest. So we stayed off the ice yesterday and being this deep in the tournament, I think that really helped with our legs. We had an optional skate this morning, but I stayed off the ice then, too.

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Posted On Tuesday, 01.01.2013 / 2:07 PM

By Seth Jones -  Special to NHL.com /NHL.com - Seth Jones Draft blog

Greetings from Ufa

Seth Jones, who plays for the Portland Winterhawks of the Western Hockey League, is currently starring for the United States at the 2013 World Junior Championship. The 6-foot-4, 205-pound defenseman has solid athletic bloodlines -- his father, Popeye Jones, played 11 seasons in the NBA. Jones has been paired with Mike Reilly and Jake McCabe at different points in the 2013 WJC in Ufa, Russia. Prior to playing the Czech Republic in the quarterfinals of the medal round on Wednesday, Jones provided his assessment of the tournament through four preliminary-round games.

Greeting from Ufa, Russia!

I thought I would provide an update on how things are going for me and Team USA heading into the medal round during our off day.

I think things have been good so far. It's obviously a different culture for everyone, but we're starting to get used to it. The food is a little bit different and it's not usually what you eat back in America, but we just have to deal with it and the team has been really good working together. I think the chemistry is starting to come along off the ice as well. We usually don't hang out a lot since we're with our respective teams during the regular season, but it's been really fun getting to know everyone.

I haven't really gotten out to spend time with teammates. My mom made the trip here, so I've been spending a lot of time with her.

As far as the games are concerned, and compared to games I've been involved with at the Under-18 level, this is probably the most intense hockey I've ever played. Especially back-to-back games against Russia and Canada -- it was a grind. We played good games and came up just short on both occasions. I thought we did a lot of things right in both those games but just didn't get the outcome that we wanted.

I've been pretty satisfied with the way I've played. I think I can eliminate some turnovers in the defensive zone and neutral zone, and keep it simple. But for the most part I feel I've been pretty solid and have been able to create a little on offense as well.

We're now looking forward to the next step of this tournament in the medal round. Whenever I've worn the Team USA jersey in the past, we've always been on the top and I've always been a part of that team that gets the bye into the semis. But this was different. We faced a couple of tough opponents and didn't get the outcomes we wanted, so we had to come from behind and got a big win against Slovakia [on Monday]. So now we're looking to take it one game at a time, and focus on the Czech Republic on Wednesday.

Thanks for reading everyone and enjoy the remainder of the tournament.

Follow Seth Jones on Twitter at: @seth_jones04

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Posted On Tuesday, 12.18.2012 / 2:36 PM

By Seth Jones -  Special to NHL.com /NHL.com - Seth Jones Draft blog

Jones recaps U.S. selection camp in Greenburgh, N.Y.

Hi everyone!

I just completed camp here in Greenburgh at the Rangers' training facility. It was a great experience and I felt very comfortable here right from the start. I was rooming with Stefan Matteau, my teammate for the past two years, and I'm very familiar with him and his personality so it was a very easy transition for me.

On the ice, the team looked great. The first day, there were a lot of drills while trying to get our feet under us after the plane rides. But the next couple of days, we worked on systems and I thought we looked really good out there and the pace was really high.

I was paired with Matt Grzelcyk on the final day of practice [on Tuesday]. We've always been friends, on and off the ice. He's a great player and very smart with the puck, so anytime I can play with him or anyone else, that's a great thing.

I know we're all looking forward to going to Helsinki [Finland] now to continue camp. We have games against Finland and Sweden there so it'll be good to gain a little bit more chemistry between the guys and lines and see where everyone fits in.

I'm also looking forward to getting to Ufa [Russia]. It's obviously a different culture for everyone but we'll just focus on playing hockey over there and winning a gold medal.

Speaking of a gold medal, I'm often asked about what it will take to win the gold. Well, it's going to take everyone giving 100 percent. If that means blocking shots or doing the little things on the ice like getting the puck out of the defensive zone every time and just the little things that win you hockey games and we have to capitalize on the chances we're given. I do like our chances going into the tournament.

Follow Seth Jones on Twitter at: @seth_jones04

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Posted On Tuesday, 12.04.2012 / 9:05 AM

By Seth Jones -  Special to NHL.com /NHL.com - Seth Jones Draft blog

Jones helping team move past adversity

Seth Jones is a defenseman for the Portland Winterhawks of the Western Hockey League. The 6-foot-4, 205-pound defenseman has solid athletic bloodlines -- his father, Popeye Jones, played 11 seasons in the NBA. Jones excelled the last two seasons for the U.S. National Team Development Program and likely will play for the U.S. at the 2013 World Junior Championship. Jones has offered to maintain a monthly blog for NHL.com that will chronicle his season leading up to the 2013 NHL Draft.

It has been an exciting past couple of months for me and the team. We have been extremely successful as a team and the chemistry with each other is really coming alive. We hope to keep the flow going through the rest of the year.

The first part of November saw us run our win streak to 12 games. We have had some close one-goal games and some blowout games as well. Either way, the team gets ready for each game the same. Everybody is calm and relaxed while we play soccer. We are cracking jokes and not thinking about the game too much. You can feel the energy rise the closer you get to game time. We ended up losing to Kamloops, one of our conference rivals, at home on Nov. 16, which snapped our streak.

We let the loss sink in that night, but that did not stop us from winning games. We haven't lost since then -- we've won six straight. December will be a big month for us to end the first half of the season on a high note.

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Posted On Saturday, 09.29.2012 / 11:50 PM

By Seth Jones -  Special to NHL.com /NHL.com - Seth Jones Draft blog

Jones: Long trip to Prospects Game was worth it

We just finished a very long day here in Buffalo with a great win.

I got in around 10:15 this morning, came to the rink here, dropped off my gear and settled in. I got to see some of the guys I played with and against, and some of the younger guys I know. I did a little media work, nothing big, about 20 minutes. Then I went back to the hotel, had a pregame meal. I tried to sleep as much as I could, but about an hour is all I did, which isn't much. Then it was back to the rink to get ready for the game.

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Posted On Saturday, 09.29.2012 / 7:49 AM

By Seth Jones -  Special to NHL.com /NHL.com - Seth Jones Draft blog

Jones: Long night of travel definitely was worth it

This should be an exciting day.

I flew into Buffalo this morning and I can already feel the energy of the game tonight. It was a long trip and not the easiest. We beat Kelowna 1-0 on Friday, and then I had the red-eye flight out of Portland. I had a layover in Atlanta this morning before I arrived in Buffalo, and I'm pretty tired, but I know it's going to be worth it tonight.

I know most of the players here so I am pretty comfortable. I'm getting to play with and against most of the best American-born draft prospects, which is obviously an awesome experience. I'm looking forward to the pace of play and to the screaming fans of Buffalo.

I hope you are there to see the first CCM/USA Hockey All-American Prospects Game tonight.

Check back tomorrow to see what how the game went for me.

Follow Seth Jones on Twitter: @seth_jones04

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Posted On Wednesday, 09.05.2012 / 12:39 PM

By Seth Jones -  Special to NHL.com /NHL.com - Seth Jones Draft blog

Jones gearing up for big season

Seth Jones is a defenseman for the Portland Winterhawks of the Western Hockey League. The 6-foot-4, 205-pound defenseman has solid athletic bloodlines -- his father, Popeye Jones, played 11 seasons in the NBA. Jones excelled the last two seasons for the U.S. National Team Development Program and likely will play for the U.S. at the 2013 World Junior Championship. Jones has offered to maintain a monthly blog for NHL.com that will chronicle his season leading up to the 2013 NHL Draft.

Hi everyone. My name is Seth Jones, and this season I will be playing for the Portland Winterhawks of the Western Hockey League and I am extremely anxious for the season to be on its way.

Some of you might have heard of my father, Popeye Jones, who played in the NBA and now is an assistant coach for the Brooklyn Nets. You're probably asking yourself how I got into hockey if my dad was a professional basketball player. Not only do I play hockey, but my older brother Justin and my younger brother Caleb also play.

I was born in Dallas, Texas, and moved around quite a bit because of my dad's career. My family finally settled in Denver, where we ended up living for eight years. I first stepped on the ice when I was about 5 years old. My friends at school were all beginning to play hockey and they influenced me into trying it as well. It was something that I liked, but wasn't very passionate about. But that changed in 2001. I was 7 years old and happened to be at Game 7 when the Colorado Avalanche defeated the New Jersey Devils in the Stanley Cup Final. This was the most unbelievable experience of my life at the time. From that point on my dream was to make it to the National Hockey League and win a Stanley Cup.

Winterhawks defenseman Seth Jones in action
(Photo: Christopher Mast)

The first thing I wanted to do was learn how to skate really well because while I was watching all those hockey games, I noticed that was the most important attribute to being successful. So my mom got me to take lessons multiple times a week that just focused on skating and only skating. I played youth hockey in Colorado and then we moved back to Texas about six years ago when my dad decided to take an assistant coaching job with the Dallas Mavericks. I continued to play youth hockey in Dallas and a little over two years ago got an opportunity that does not come around for too many people -- I was invited to play for the U.S. National Team Development Program based out of Ann Arbor, Mich.

This was the first time I would be living away from my family and it wasn't easy to move away from them. But I became comfortable quickly and it was a smoother transition than I would have expected. The USNTDP was huge for me personally. My biggest issue was I did not weigh enough and I knew the program really focused on the physical development side of things off the ice. And playing against 20-year-olds at just 16 really helps, too. I left Ann Arbor after two years with the program 25 pounds heavier. This was a major accomplishment for me and it gave me more confidence on the ice.

Now it's time to get ready for the season in Portland. I got here Aug. 21 and it's been great. It's been very easy to get adjusted. I'm very comfortable, the guys are all very easy to get along with. I felt part of the team from the moment I got here.

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Quote of the Day

Not only is it a great idea, but if you don't [start using analytics] you're going to fall behind. You have to be on the cutting edge. It was [Arizona Coyotes assistant general manager] Darcy Regier who said, 'If you didn't invent it, you have to be the second- or third-best copier, because if you're fourth or fifth you've got no chance.'

— Detroit Red Wings coach Mike Babcock on his interest in advanced statistical analysis