COLUMBUS, OHIO – The Columbus Blue Jackets have acquired defenseman Seth Jones from the Nashville Predators in exchange for center Ryan Johansen, club General Manager Jarmo Kekalainen announced today. Kekalainen’s press conference, at 10 a.m. ET Thursday, will be streamed live at BlueJackets.com.
Jones, 21, was the fourth overall pick in the 2013 NHL Draft. He has collected one goal and 10 assists for 11 points with 10 penalty minutes in 40 games with Nashville this season. In 199 career NHL games, he has registered 15-48-63 and 54 penalty minutes, while adding 0-4-4 in six career Stanley Cup playoff games.
“Seth Jones is a big, skilled defenseman who has the potential to be an elite performer in this league for many years to come,” said Kekalainen. “He has tremendous skill with the puck, sees the ice extremely well and has the ability to shut down the opposition as well. We believe he will be an anchor on the blueline for our team for many years to come.”
Jones made his NHL debut in 2013-14 and ranked among the NHL’s rookie defensemen leaders in goals, assists and points with 6-19-25 and 24 penalty minutes in 77 games. Last season, he tallied 8-19-27, 20 penalty minutes and was +3 in 82 games. He logged 19:52 average ice time per game and was the only Predators defenseman to appear in every game. He also led the club with four assists in six games during the 2015 Stanley Cup Playoffs.
A 6-4, 208-pound native of Arlington, Texas, Jones has been named one of Team USA’s best three players at the past two IIHF World Championship tournaments. In 2015, he tallied 1-3-4 and was +4 in 10 games to help the squad capture the bronze medal. In 2014, he was named the tournament’s Best Defenseman and earned All-Star honors after notching 2-9-11 with a +8 plus/minus rating in eight contests. He also helped the US win the gold medal at the 2013 IIHF World Junior Championships, collecting 1-6-7 in seven games.
Jones spent three seasons with the United States Development Program from 2010-12 before joining the Western Hockey League’s Portland Winterhawks. In his lone WHL season in 2012-13, he racked up 14-42-56, 33 penalty minutes and was +46 in 61 games. He won the Jim Piggott Trophy as WHL Rookie of the Year, was named the Canadian Hockey League’s Top Prospect of the Year and was a WHL First-Team All-Star. He helped Portland to a 57-12-3 record, the Ed Chynoweth Cup as league champions and a spot in the 2013 Memorial Cup final. He was the top-rated North American skater in Central Scouting’s final ratings of 2013.
Johansen, 23, was Columbus’ first pick, fourth overall, in the 2010 NHL Draft. He registered 79-114-193 and 144 penalty minutes in 309 career games with the club, including 6-20-26 and 25 penalty minutes in 38 games this season.
“Trading Ryan Johansen was not easy but improving our blueline has been a priority for us and to acquire a player of Seth’s caliber, you have to give up a player of value,” said Kekalainen. “We have been through a lot with Joey over the years and he has been a very good player for us. On behalf of our organization, I want to thank him for all he has done on and off the ice for our team and in our community.”