As a member of the "top prospect trio" of this year's NHL Draft, Seth Jones has received a lot of attention - and for good reason.
On first glance, the numbers speak for themselves: he finished fourth among all WHL defensemen in points (56) and helped the Portland Winterhawks capture both the regular season and postseason titles in the 2012-13 season. The Winterhawks lost the Memorial Cup to Nathan MacKinnon, Jonathan Drouin and the Halifax Mooseheads, but it was a terrific season nonetheless and Jones was a big part of it.
Jones also captained the gold medal-winning Team USA at the 2012 World Under-18 Championship Tournament, and was a significant contributor to the gold medal-winning American squad at the 2013 World Junior in Ufa, Russia.
Not a bad resume for an 18-year-old, right?
At 6-foot-4 and 200 lbs., Jones commands attention with his presence alone. His size, skill and mobility are a rare blend that every NHL team is looking for and he's widely regarded as one of the best defense prospects in years.
His two-way game makes him an especially dangerous player because he can go back for pucks, start the offense in transition and join the rush all in one shift. Jones also has an above-average shot from the point, but scouts believe it's an aspect of his game that could stand to get better with age.
Here’s what NHL.com’s Mike Morreale had to say about Jones:
“It’s rare to get a defenseman with his size, skating ability and smarts who is also a great leader.”
NBC analyst Pierre McGuire also offered his take in a scouting report:
“He’s the franchise defenseman every team is looking for. His ability to one-time the puck is huge. He can really skate. He can log big minutes. He’s not going to be intimidated.”
Season GP G A Pts +/- PIM
2012-13 61 14 42 56 +46 33