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Keeping up with the Joneses

by Mike G. Morreale

Seth Jones, NHL Central Scouting's top-ranked North American skater in its final rankings for the 2013 NHL Draft, admits he wouldn't be where he is today without the support of family.

Of course, his dad, former NBA player Ronald "Popeye" Jones, and his mother, Amy, have played a huge role in his impeccable demeanor both on and off the ice. But Seth is quick to point out that brothers Justin and Caleb also have played prominent roles in his life.

"They've been extremely important," Jones told "We're very close to each other, started out playing hockey at the same time and kind of followed each other when it came to hockey. We followed how each did, what sticks we used and the gear we wore."

Jones said his older brother, Justin, 22, used to play hockey and now has a full-time job. Justin, who played forward, last played competitively in 2010-11, when he skated in 23 games with the Texas Tornado of the North American Hockey League. He was chosen by the Waterloo Black Hawks in Round 18 (No. 230) during the 2009 United States Hockey League entry draft.


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Younger brother Caleb, 15, will play next season for the United States National Team Development Program's under-17 team, based in Ann Arbor, Mich.

Caleb, just like Seth, is a defenseman. And Seth also is an alum of the USNTDP, spending two seasons in the program, with the U-17 and U-18 teams.

"He'll get to share the same experiences as I did, so I'll know what he will be going through and I can give him advice here and there," Seth Jones said.

The left-handed Caleb had five goals, 32 points and 56 penalty minutes in 59 games with the Dallas Stars U-16 AAA team in 2012-13. He's eligible for the 2015 NHL Draft.

"He has a lot of upside and possesses a good combination of size, skill and physicality," Stars U-16 coach Eric Silverman told "He has come a long way the past few years and has worked very hard to make himself one of the top players in the country in his age group."

Silverman said he considers Caleb to be a different type of player than Seth, but that he also has the key attributes necessary to becoming a highly-regarded prospect.

In 37 games with the USNTDP U-17 team during the 2010-11 season, Seth Jones served as a co-captain and had four goals and 21 points. He helped lead the club to a first-place finish at the 2010 U-17 Four Nations Cup in Woodbridge, Ill., totaling one goal and three assists in four games.

Seth also was a member of the U-17 team that finished second at the 2011 World U-17 Hockey Challenge in Manitoba, chipping in with a goal and two points in six games, and helped the team finish first at the 2011 Vlad Dzurilla U-18 Tournament in Slovakia, collecting two assists in three games.

After leaving the USNTDP program, Seth spent this season with the Portland Winterhawks of the Western Hockey League, and Caleb is on a path to follow Seth there as well. Caleb (6-foot, 176 pounds) was drafted in the third round (No. 64) by the Winterhawks in the 2012 WHL bantam draft.

"Caleb's one of those players that loves being at the rink and being around the game," Silverman said. "The USNTDP will be the perfect place for him to develop for the next two years, and as he gains more size and strength, he should be able to become even more of an impact player. It's going to be fun to watch him progress."


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