A few heads turned at the 2013 NHL draft when top ranked Seth Jones of the WHL champion Portland Winterhawks was not selected until fourth overal, by Nashville, because the Preds never expected him to be available when they selected.
Jones is a big, rushing defender who had an outstanding season with the Winterhawks and the US National junior team which won gold at the World Junior Championship.
TFR’s Alan Greenberg spoke to Jones during the pre-season rookie tournament held in Florida.
* BEING PICKED FOURTH IN THE DRAFT:
I’m past that. I wasn’t surprised. Everything happens for a reason and, besides, Nashville has a great organization.
To get the opportunity to play with guys like Shea Weber and Roman Josi would be a great experience if I, hopefully, make the team.
* PLAYING OFFENSIVELY IN THE NHL:
Obviously I have to be a little smarter about it (rushing) in the NHL. I think that’s a major issue about jumping from Juniors.
Everyone in the NHL is so much better and so much faster so you can’t make the end-to-end plays that you make in Juniors. It’s definitely an adjustment of surroundings but if I see an opening I’ll take it.
* THE NEED TO PLAY A LITTLE NASTIER:
Not really. I don’t think Nicklas Lidstrom had a nasty streak and he did just fine.
* TRAVIS GREEN’S INFLUENCE:
He’s a fantastic coach. I’m happy for him that he got that job in the “A” (head coach for Utica Comets, Vancouver’s AHL affiliate).
When Mike (Johnston) left he took over and did a great job of rallying us up and making sure we stuck together as a team. We did a pretty good job. We came up just one game short for the Memorial Cup.
* CHOOSING HOCKEY OVER BASKETBALL:
I lived in Colorado for a while and my friends there started playing. When the Avalanche won the cup in 2001 it jump-started my interest. I just wanted to play hockey. Basketball is a part of my dad’s life but it doesn’t always work that way. I kind of gravitated to something else.