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Jones named NHL’s No. 1 North American draft prospect

Jan 15, 2013, 10:55 AM EDT

Seth Jones Bowman

Seth Jones has started off 2013 with a bang.

Just weeks removed from capturing gold with Team USA at the World Junior Championships, the highly-coveted defenseman was named NHL Central Scouting’s top North American prospect on Tuesday.

“Seth is a big, rangy defenseman who has a nice command of his shifts,” NHL Central Scouting’s B.J. MacDonald told “He has the ability to be a game-changer because he has good instincts and awareness. He’s an underrated passer, possesses solid one-on-one play and can skate the puck out of danger at any time.

“He’s already the complete package, but I get the feeling he still has another gear to go to.”

Jones edged out another pair of touted prospects — Canadian forwards and QMJHL Halifax teammates Nathan MacKinnon and Jonathan Drouin — and was one of just three defensemen to crack the top-10 (the others were Brandon blueliner Ryan Pulock and Sault Ste. Marie’s Darnell Nurse.)

Finnish scoring sensation Aleksander Barkov was named the top international skater, with Swedish center Elias Lindholm finishing second. Valeri Nichushkin, the prized Russian forward, finished fourth.

The 2013 NHL Entry Draft will be held on June 30 at the Prudential Center in Newark, NJ.

Jones will look to become just the third U.S.-born defenseman in history to go first overall — the others were Erik Johnson and Bryan Berard — and this year’s draft will have an added wrinkle, as the NHL implements its new draft lottery process.

  1. lordfletcher - Jan 15, 2013 at 11:50 AM

    I am very jealous of anyone in the top ten, especially the top 5, not in order, jones, Mackinnon, Barkov, Drouin, Monahan. The top 5 look like potential franchise players but we all know anything can happen. This draft screams 2003 all over again. I am very curious to see which players that are drafted between 15 and 25 pan out to be all-stars and top line guys.

    This is the draft we have been waiting a decade for!!! With the new CBA rules, some team may get incredibly lucky in the draft.

  2. misterchainbluelightning - Jan 15, 2013 at 12:21 PM

    I remember how people tried to tell me Erik Johnson was a better pick than Staal or Toews. Oh how I laughed, watch history repeat itself.

  3. puckdog - Jan 15, 2013 at 12:44 PM

    Just saw him play last Friday night in Portland for the Winterhawks. He definitely stood out. The Rose Garden Arena is beautiful too. We need something like that here in San Diego in order to attract a team.

    • misterchainbluelightning - Jan 15, 2013 at 1:41 PM

      Got have got to be kidding me, SD doesn’t support it’s baseball or NFL enough as it is. Never will you see a junior or NHL team there. Thank god

  4. magicrat13 - Jan 15, 2013 at 1:26 PM

    he must have eaten a lot of spinach as a young boy….

  5. bcjim - Jan 15, 2013 at 1:47 PM

    He may well be a great player but a Dman would have to be insanely great to spend the #1 pick on.

    They just have less impact than an equivalently talented forward.

    Now of the Oilers have another #1, it might make sense for them given their abundant crop of young Fs.

  6. puckdog - Jan 15, 2013 at 1:52 PM

    Dunno guys. Went to a bunch of San Diego Gulls games back in the day that drew good crowds. Assuming you’re from here and that’s how you know? Never liked cooked spinach as a kid (gross) but love it fresh in my salad as an adult! Souplantation rocks!

  7. puckdog - Jan 15, 2013 at 2:03 PM

    Question….Who was the first player (black) to break the color barrier in the NHL and teams (NHL and minor affiliate) did he play for?

  8. billsysabres - Jan 15, 2013 at 2:19 PM

    Willy oree first black man in hockey. Can’t believe a Texan might go number one the the draft

  9. acieu - Jan 15, 2013 at 2:23 PM

    Jackie Robinson? Oops wrong sport but right players association director.

  10. Exiled1 - Jan 15, 2013 at 7:43 PM

    Willie O’ree. Boston Bruins,Quebec Aces. NHL Debut 1958

    • puckdog - Jan 15, 2013 at 11:31 PM

      Not sure about Aces but I know for sure he played for the San Diego Gulls. A poster with his photo hangs in the Sports Arena.

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