Popeye Jones at draft as 'very proud dad'

Sunday, 06.30.2013 / 3:36 PM | Adam Kimelman  - NHL.com Deputy Managing Editor

NEWARK, N.J. -- Popeye Jones was standing in the tunnel just off the NHL Draft floor, taking in the sights at Prudential Center. It's a long way from 1992, when he was chosen by the Houston Rockets with the 41st pick of the 1992 NBA Draft.

"This is all new to me," he told NHL.com. "A projected second-round pick, you don't get to come to the draft in the NBA. I was at home watching on TV."

He has a choice seat for the 2013 NHL Draft, where his son, Seth, was chosen with the fourth selection by the Nashville Predators. Rather than fretting for his son's fate, Popeye said he was excited and proud.

"I was more nervous about myself," he said. "Am I going to get drafted? Am I not going to get drafted? With Seth, he's going to get drafted, it's a matter of to who. I'm more excited for him and a very proud dad."

Popeye said what makes him proudest is seeing his son rewarded for all the hard work he's put in over the years to rise to the level of being NHL Central Scouting's top-rated North American skater.

"When I look back on it, I think about the dedication. The passion for the game," he said. "For me as a father to embrace that and see that, and the dedication and commitment and hard work over the years that he's put into it, it's very exciting.

"It's fun. It's a lot of fun. I'm not really nervous at all. I was more nervous when I got drafted (out of Murray State). It's really fun and exciting."

Follow Adam Kimelman on Twitter: @NHLAdamK

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