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Predators coach impressed by Jones, Forsberg

by Staff Writer / Nashville Predators

Nashville Predators coach Barry Trotz isn't sure how to describe it, but looking at Seth Jones and Filip Forsberg, he knows his top prospects have it.

"You've seen a lot of players, over my career, that you know have gone on to have careers and all that, and they carry themselves a certain way," Trotz said Tuesday at Predators development camp.

"I can't explain it, you just see it, and I think both of them have that little bit of that 'it factor,' whatever 'it' is. I really can't explain it, but they seem to have that."

Jones, a defenseman, and Forsberg, a forward, could anchor their units in Nashville for years.

Jones fell to the Predators at the No. 4 pick in the 2013 NHL Draft last week. Forsberg was acquired from the Washington Capitals near the NHL Trade Deadline; the forward was the No. 11 pick in the 2012 draft.

"They're polished, they understand what they want to do, and I think they have an inner confidence," Trotz told the Predators website. "And I think all athletes that are pretty successful have that inner confidence."

Jones was the No. 1 ranked player by Central Scouting heading into the 2013 draft, but forwards Nathan MacKinnon (Colorado Avalanche), Alexsander Barkov (Florida Panthers) and Jonathan Drouin (Tampa Bay Lightning) were selected ahead of him.

Trotz said he was particularly impressed with Jones' powerful skating stride, generated from a 6-foot-4, 205-pound frame.

"He moves really well for a young man at his size," Trotz said. "It's exceptional."

Forsberg, 19 in August, appeared in five NHL games in 2012-13, with one assist. Jones is expected to play in the NHL this season and be paired with veteran captain Shea Weber.

"I talked to him on the phone right after I got drafted," Jones said. "He was pretty excited that I'm here, and so am I. To learn from a guy like Shea Weber, [who's] been so great over the years ... he's one of the top [defensemen] every year. To play under guys like him, it's going to be awesome."

But Jones, who turns 19 in October, is not taking his roster spot for granted.

"Obviously, I'm going to have to perform to the best that I can," Jones said. "Hopefully I'm given an opportunity to do that here in Nashville next year, but I have to earn it first."

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