BUFFALO -- Defenseman Caleb Jones has a message for every NHL scout in attendance at the third annual CCM/USA Hockey All-American Prospects Game at First Niagara Center on Thursday (7 p.m. ET, NHL Network).
Caleb Jones enters the All-American Prospects Game as a C-rated skater on NHL Central Scouting's preliminary players to watch list for September. (Photo: USA Hockey)
"I want to prove that Caleb Jones is a good player," he said. "I'm not just here because of [my brother] Seth Jones, and I don't mind saying that. I'm going to try to prove a point here in this game. It was an honor to get to this game and I feel I definitely deserve to be here like everyone else."
Unlike his brother, who was selected in the first round (No. 4) by the Nashville Predators at the 2013 NHL Draft, Caleb Jones enters the All-American Prospects Game as a C-rated skater on NHL Central Scouting's preliminary players to watch list for September. When Seth played in the AAPG two seasons ago, he was an A-rated player.
An A-rated player is considered a possible first-round candidate for the NHL Draft. A C-rated prospect is projected to be picked in the fourth, fifth or sixth round.
Jones knows he has a full season with the Under-18 National Team Development Program in Ann Arbor, Mich., to improve his overall game along the back end.
"My coach at the NTDP [Don Granato] has been great," he said. "He's taught me a lot about the game that I had no idea going in. It was more system-oriented things and the right way to play and focus on your own end first because the offense will take care of itself."
What does Jones plan to showcase for Team Mike Grier at the AAPG?
"I'm just going to go out there, play my game and keep it simple," he said. "I like to play physical too. I've always been physical since I started playing, so maybe I'll have an opportunity to show that side of my game as well."