NEWARK, N.J. — Seth Jones knows draft day is about where a player goes, not when it happens.
The NHL draft is not an Olympic event, no matter how much we in the media and fans tend to turn it in one one. Still, it was the story of the first round when Jones, Central Scouting's top-ranked North American skater, went not second, not third, but fourth to the Nashville Predators. If you had Jones at No. 4 in your mock draft, there's a seat open on the New York Stock Exchange.
"I'd be lying if I wasn't thinking about going to those teams," Jones said, referring to the Colorado Avalanche, Florida Panthers and Tampa Bay Lightning. "At the same time I'm excited to be a Predator, I am aware of the needs of the other teams, but this is where I ended up."
Jones knew the Avalanche were taking his friend, Halifax Mooseheads centre Nathan MacKinnon. He had no read either way on the Florida Panthers, who met with Jones on Saturday but took Tappara centre Aleksander Barkov second.
"It was kind of just another general meeting, very similar to the one at the combine," the 6-foot-4, 206-pound Jones said. "They asked me a couple of hockey questions, not too deep, wasn't soul-searching."
Seth Jones, "I'm gonna make those top 3 teams regret not taking me."
— Josh Rimer (@JoshRimerHockey) June 30, 2013
Take after Weber
The 18-year-old Jones is joining a Predators organization that lost key defenceman Ryan Suter to free agency and 2012 and have long-time star Shea Weber to serve as a valuable elder and role model. His Team USA coach from the world junior championship, Phil Housley, just joined Nashville's coaching staff. Plus Tennessee is former NBAer father Roland (Popeye) Jones' home state; Jones' grandmother still lives there.
So is quote-unquote falling to No. 4 really that bad? Not in Popeye's eyes.Read More »from Seth Jones finds upside in slide to Nashville Predators at No. 4 overall