Nashville Predators: Seth Jones is living up to the hype

Seth Jones with Team USA. Image Courtesy of Wikipedia Commons.

Seth Jones with Team USA. Image Courtesy of Wikipedia Commons.

When defeceman Seth Jones slipped to fourth overall in the 2013 NHL entry draft, Nashville Predators GM David Poile must have been licking his chops. NHL Central Scouting pegged the smooth skating blueliner first among North American skaters, for a reason.

The Colorado Avalanche (Nathan MacKinnon), Florida Panthers (Aleksander Barkov), and Tampa Bay Lightning (Jonathan Drouin) all passed on Jones in favour of skill forwards.

They say forwards are more NHL ready at 18-years old, and in most cases that is probably true. Recent 1st overall forward picks have become NHL stars fairly young – Steven Stamkos, Jonathan Tavares, to name a few. Whereas, the last defenceman to be taken 1st, didn’t pan out very well – Erik Johnson by the St. Louis Blues in 2006. But Jones is not like most young defenceman – he is a prodigy, with the potential to become a generational talent.

Offensive numbers don’t tell the entire story, but Jones’s 7 points in 16 games is impressive considering his age and station on a low-scoring hockey club. Watch Seth Jones score his first NHL goal:

Twitter is not without updates on the promising young American. ESPN‘s early season rankings place Jones top amongst Calder trophy candidates:

Seth Jones was invited to USA Hockey’s Olympic Orientation camp in July of last summer. Team USA Orientation camp roster courtesy of CBC. View it here. It’s not known if the rookie blueliner has a legitimate shot at making the team. Yahoo! Sports writer Ryan Lambert provides insight into Jones’s status as a candidate to play for the US in Sochi 2014. Read article by Yahoo!Sports here