BUFFALO, NY -- Defenceman Caleb Jones will follow in the footsteps of his older brother, Nashville Predators defenceman Seth Jones, next season by playing with the Portland Winterhawks of the Western Hockey League.
But Caleb, 18, said he's a lot more than Seth's younger brother.
"I just try to be my own player, work hard every day," he said. "I'm not Seth's brother, I'm Caleb, my own person and I'm trying to be my own person."
Jones had six goals and 24 points in 65 games with the United States National Team Development Program under-18 team this season. He really stood out for the U.S. at the 2015 IIHF World Under-18 Championship in Switzerland this April with five points and a plus-6 rating in seven games to help the U.S. win the gold medal.
The 5-foot-11, 194-pound left-shot defender is No. 115 on NHL Central Scouting's final ranking of the top North American skaters for the 2015 NHL Draft.
"The first thing I liked was how much he improved as the year went on," David Gregory of Central Scouting said. "He added dimensions to his game that I didn't see as an underage player [in 2013-14]. He became much more confident carrying the puck and creating off the rush, which is something he'll need at the next level."
Said Jones, "I think I've proven myself throughout my year. I think at the [World Under-18 Championship] I really came out and played well and showed teams I'm my own player and that I'm a good player in my own right. Here I did the same things. I feel confident in my ability as a player."
While Caleb said he's a different player and person than Seth, he certainly was willing to listen to any advice his brother could give from his draft year experience, especially at the Combine. Seth Jones was Central Scouting's top-ranked North American skater for the 2013 draft and was selected by the Predators with the No. 4 pick.
"It's unbelievable," Caleb said. "It helps out so much. He tells you what to expect so there's no surprises when you get here. There's a few different things [from when Seth went through it], but for the most part he helped me out and told me to be myself and everything should go smoothly.
"He just said have fun. That was his biggest thing. It's going to be a fun year. Don't take it for granted because it goes by really quick. Enjoy the draft and all the processes with it."
Author: Adam Kimelman | NHL.com Deputy Managing Editor