The Portland Winterhawks have acquired the rights to talk to 17-year-old defenseman Seth Jones from the Everett Silvertips in exchange for a conditional draft pick.
Jones, 6’3”, 201 pounds, is considered one of the best players in the U.S. in his age group, and is rated as a top prospect for the 2013 NHL Draft. He played this season for the U.S. National Team Development Program’s Under-18 team, and won a gold medal with the U.S. team yesterday at the U-18 World Championship in the Czech Republic.
Jones was dominant during the tournament, registering three goals and five assists for eight points in six games, placing second in scoring both on his team and among all defensemen. He also played in the tournament last year as a 16-year-old, registering three assists en route to a gold medal.
With the U.S. National Team Development Program, Jones posted six goals and 20 assists for 26 points in 48 games. Jones, a native of Plano, Texas, was drafted by the Silvertips in the first round of the 2009 WHL Bantam Draft, 11th overall.
“Seth is a world class player in his age group, a terrific two-way defenseman who’s excelled at every level,” said Portland Winterhawks General Manager & Head Coach Mike Johnston. “By not committing to a college at this point, he has decided to keep his options open, and we look forward to meeting with Seth and his family soon to discuss his future. We believe he would be an impact player in the Western Hockey League.”
Jones is the son of former NBA player Ronald “Popeye” Jones. The elder Jones played 535 games over 11 seasons with the Dallas Mavericks, Toronto Raptors, Boston Celtics, Denver Nuggets, Washington Wizards and Golden State Warriors, averaging 7.0 points and 7.4 rebounds during his career. He is currently an assistant coach with the New Jersey Nets.
(Nathan can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org)