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Seth Jones on U.S. World Junior squad: “We’re the best team”

Dec 20, 2012, 9:18 PM EDT

USA captain Seth Jones pose celebrates w Getty Images

Hot 2013 NHL Draft prospect Seth Jones seems like he’s becoming quite accustomed to generating hype.

The defenseman many believe will be the second pick of the next entry draft told TSN’s Mark Masters that the U. S. World Junior Championships squad is the team to beat on Thursday.

” … I think we’re the best team,” Jones said. “We have a lot of speed up front, we’re great defensively and we have good goaltending so I think we have all the pieces to win the gold medal.”

Masters points out that the United States failed to advance beyond the round robin stage in last year’s tournament, yet perhaps one could justify similar optimism for America’s squad as you would for Russia in the 2014 Olympics: everyone basically starts from Point A again.

Even so, some will say that he’s making bold statements – maybe even providing bulletin board material – but Jones seems nonplussed about such claims.

“That’s just confidence,” Jones said. “We can hang with any team here to be honest with you. There’s not much another team can do to really take us off our game.”

Either way, it’s tough not to love seeing such swagger from the son of former NBA journeyman “Popeye” Jones.

  1. thedavesiknowiknow - Dec 20, 2012 at 10:05 PM

    Granted, it’s just the preliminary round: But the win against Sweden was a real nice start. Still, a battle between Russia/Canada until further notice.

  2. danphipps01 - Dec 20, 2012 at 10:23 PM

    They’re definitely a great team, but I’m curious how much offense they can generate. Scoring seemed like a problem area last year. Couldn’t deliver a goal when they needed one. They were and still are rock-solid in their own zone, but with two of their best scorers clocking in at under 5’10 and 170 pounds each, I wonder how effective their offense will be.

    Still. Should make it waaaay deeper than last year. That was a freakishly terrible one-off.

    • woodstakes - Dec 21, 2012 at 1:00 AM

      Well, I can say this… as for Rocco Grimaldi he plays for my favorite NCAA hockey team. I’ve seen every game I could watch this season… all home and 3 away… and the kid has a sick game. He’s does very well against the big d-men that you see in the WCHA. He’s only a freshman but the kid has got game. Every time he touches the puck it seems like he’s making a play. Not all of them lead to goals but you know what I mean when a player has that Datsyuk like quality that you just never know whats coming and when he has the puck don’t blink. NO i’m not saying he’s Datsyuk before anyone jumps on me… just saying that play making sort of style.

  3. mrwings787 - Dec 21, 2012 at 12:10 AM

    This kid needs to cool it… You don’t want a reputation of all talk and no action

    BTW this is coming from an American

  4. 1943mrmojorisin1971 - Dec 21, 2012 at 1:13 AM

    Maybe he meant they’re the best American team. Seriously, our top six is NHL calibre, this is Canada’s tourny to lose. No pressure on our goalies, eh?

  5. nyrnashty - Dec 21, 2012 at 1:26 AM

    Doesn’t every team say they’re the best team? I’m American, but I have to be honest it doesn’t mean much what country wins this tournament. It’s more of a prospect tournament IMO. In 2010 when the U.S. won, no one even covered it except for some websites. I don’t think U.S. outlets even mention that it’s even being played. I’m from NJ and I watch, but most people don’t even know the tournament exists around me. I try to get people into it, but they just don’t care about amateur sports except college football and maybe college basketball. I just watch the tournament for NYR prospects no matter what country they’re from.

  6. nyrnashty - Dec 21, 2012 at 1:29 AM

    Oh yeah and RNH is playing, who I like, but I think this tournament is a little beneath him considering the amount of NHL games he’s already played his rookie year even with the injury. He better score between 15-20 goals in this tournament. I guess Canada really wants to win to allow him to play.

  7. 1943mrmojorisin1971 - Dec 21, 2012 at 3:42 AM

    Two things: if you don’t really want to win this tourny then pack up and go home, and why would they not allow him to play?

    • tfaltin - Dec 21, 2012 at 8:33 AM

      He’s eligible by the current rules, fine. But don’t you think there’s something inconsistent about a player getting a full season in the NHL, then being eligible to play in a Juniors tournament? In the NCAA if you make a leap to any sort of professional league you lose your NCAA eligibility status. I think the same should apply for Juniors. RNH is not a prospect anymore, he arrived, it’s time for the next wave of young talent to get their shot.

      • tatdue - Dec 21, 2012 at 11:03 AM

        This is not a school tournament there buddy, it’s an IIHF sanctioned WORLD tournament. This is the World Under 20 tournament! Get it? This is a tournament between the best players in the world that are under 20 years old. It doesn’t matter where you play whether it be the NCAA league or the NHL, the KHL, the Swiss National League, or any number of minor leagues around the world. It is a tournament between the best players in the world that are under 20 years old period. It’s not a prospects competition, These kids are representing their country, not the school they go to or the league they play in. There’s nothing “inconsistent” about this at all. Every year there are players with pro experience in this tournament and there are also pro players that are eligible but their clubs won’t release them to play for fear of injury but the lock out has made this a little more noticeable this year….

      • tfaltin - Dec 21, 2012 at 11:25 AM

        That’s fine, you can have that opinion and I respect that, and I understand the premise of the tournament clearly. I’m also happy to see you were able to take the opportunity to write with complete condescencion over the internet. Better take it out in a PHT forum than in person right? Bravo.

      • tatdue - Dec 21, 2012 at 12:06 PM

        Maybe some people would call it condescending to compare a World Tournament to a college competition. Also some people might consider your post as nothing more than whining, but I didn’t make those accusations. All I did was explain the difference to you and I even called you buddy :) But after reading your response maybe I shouldn’t have bothered, maybe I should have just took the adolescent approach like you and just called you a whiner and left it at that!

      • tfaltin - Dec 21, 2012 at 1:17 PM

        This is not a school tournament there buddy, it’s an IIHF sanctioned WORLD tournament. This is the World Under 20 tournament! Get it? This is a tournament between the best players in the world that are under 20 years old.

        First (see above), you didn’t write that with air of condescencion, and the buddy was sincere? If so, then I mis-interpreted that and owe you an apology. I should also point out that if you werent being condescending you possess an overly-redudant (see what I did there?) writing style between the second and fourth sentences.

        Second, what did I say that qualified as whining? I was stating my opinion about a system. I’d be consistent if it was an American prospect. I do not think you assumed consistency, which I can’t entirely blame you for because few possess it. It looks like those from Canada are taking an opportunity to be defensive towards an accusation I didn’t make.

        1) RNH qualifies via the age restiction
        2) The tournament is referred to as the World Juniors, and RNH does not play at the Junior level.

        In the past I’ve enjoyed the tournament as an opportunity to showcase talent that will be entering the NHL in the near future. That’s it. I know RNH’s skills, so I’m more interested in seeing players that haven’t made it yet.

        *Notice* I am using the word “I” multiple times to indicate that the aforementioned statements are the opinions belonging to me, and I am in no way, shape, or form trying to influence your beliefs.

        Perhaps I should always dumb-down my comments in this form to avoid offending the over-sensitive among us.

      • 1943mrmojorisin1971 - Dec 21, 2012 at 2:50 PM

        “The tournament is referred to as the World Juniors, and RNH does not play at the Junior level.”

        It may be colloquially referred to as the World Juniors but its actual name is the IIHF World U20 Championship. Nugent-Hopkins is under 20, as another poster already pointed out. Not sure what part of that is so difficult to wrap your head around.

        “I know RNH’s skills, so I’m more interested in seeing players that haven’t made it yet.”

        That’s fine, his participation isn’t stopping you from watching every other player in this tourny showcase his skills. But my guess is you’re also interested in seeing Canada put something less than its best team on the ice.

      • tfaltin - Dec 23, 2012 at 10:37 AM

        Unbelievable. You quote a part of my post then say I can’t wrap my head around the fact that RNH qualifies when I said in the same post you quoted that he qualifies! What am I dealing with here? Just take out the quotes you want to counter and ignore rest….

      • 1943mrmojorisin1971 - Dec 23, 2012 at 12:04 PM

        Well you can’t deny that he qualifies as per the rules, that would just be silly. But you obviously think that he shouldn’t qualify or that he should turn down the opportunity to play because he’s spent time in the NHL. Either view comes across as totally nonsensical.

  8. nyrnashty - Dec 21, 2012 at 9:01 PM

    It’s just a prospect tournament! Canadians take this, like any other tournament way too serious. Why would I care if someone like Alex Galchenyuk (MTL) scores 50 goals and wins the tournament for the U.S.? He’s not a #NYR prospect. It’s only a big deal in Canada and when you come on the internet Canadians act like they’re from Nazi Germany and ruin it for the rest of the 10 people like me around the world who actually watch the damn thing outside of the players families. If you’re not from Canada you suck and you must die haha! It’s like this on any site.

    • 1943mrmojorisin1971 - Dec 22, 2012 at 1:47 AM

      I’ll bite: how in the hell do we act like we’re from Nazi Germany?

      You say it’s just a prospect tourny because your team rarely does anything of remote significance in it. If you were able to pile up the golds like the Canadians and the Soviets/Ruskies I’m sure you’d all think it was a bigger deal.

      • nyrnashty - Dec 22, 2012 at 9:36 PM

        I already explained why above.

      • 1943mrmojorisin1971 - Dec 23, 2012 at 12:00 PM

        If you you’re not from Canada you suck and must die? That’s not an explanation, that’s the ravings of a loudmouth malcontent.

  9. 127taringa - Dec 22, 2012 at 1:18 AM

    It is kind of ironic. Canadians like to think of it as a “world” tournament but hardly anybody else in the world takes hockey seriously.

    • 1943mrmojorisin1971 - Dec 22, 2012 at 1:43 AM

      I think you mean to say that hardly anybody else in North America takes hockey seriously. The Swedes, Russians, Finns, and Czechs all seem to enjoy this tourny as much as we do.

      • 127taringa - Dec 22, 2012 at 2:36 AM

        Enjoy the tourny as in nobody shows up when anyone other than Canada hosts it?

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