NASHVILLE -- Seth Jones' adjustment to the NHL didn't just begin when the Nashville Predators had their rookie development camp or when training camp started in early September.
It began during what normally would be considered the dead time of the offseason at a rink in his native Dallas. Predators coach Barry Trotz told Jones, the No. 4 pick in the 2013 NHL Draft, that he wanted the right-handed shot to work on playing the left side.
Jones, the diligent pupil, performed his homework with his skills coach Jordan French, who works for Matt Barnaby Hockey. When people around Jones talk about the value of his father, Ronald "Popeye" Jones, having played in the NBA, and of Seth Jones having grown up around professional athletes, this is the payoff.
With Jones, 19, attempting to make the jump directly from junior hockey to the NHL, the extra work he put in this summer is paying dividends. Predators top-pair defenseman Roman Josi sustained a concussion Friday, so entering Nashville's home opener Tuesday, Trotz wanted to play Jones on the top defense pair with captain Shea Weber, a right-side defenseman.