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Poile: Team USA down to 12 D-men, Jones ‘absolutely’ in mix

Nov 19, 2013, 1:49 PM EST

Sethjones3 Getty Images

On Tuesday, Team USA/Nashville GM David Poile told Sportsnet’s Fan 590 that he and the Olympic selection committee have narrowed their group of defensemen down to 12, and that Poile’s first-round pick at the 2013 NHL Entry Draft — Seth Jones — is among the dozen.

“He absolutely does,” Poile said, when asked if Jones had a chance of making the team. “We’re going to take eight defensemen and we’re down to approximately 12, and [Jones] is one of them.”

Jones was one of the 18 defensemen invited to August’s National Team Orientation Camp in Arlington, Va, along with Zach Bogosian, Dustin Byfuglien, John Carlson, Danny DeKeyser, Justin Faulk, Cam Fowler, Jake Gardiner, Erik Johnson, Jack Johnson, Nick Leddy, Paul Martin, Ryan McDonagh, Brooks Orpik, Kevin Shattenkirk, Ryan Suter, Jacob Trouba and Keith Yandle.

Jones has eight points through 20 games this year, 14th among all American blueliners, but is fifth in minutes (24:04) behind the likes of Suter, Byfuglien and Martin.

“I might be getting a little prejudiced because I get to see him every night, but I have other guys see him — and what are you looking for in a defenseman?” Poile explained. “The size, the skating, penalty killing, power play, success on the big ice surface, winning the gold medal in the World Juniors… all you can say against Seth Jones right now is he’s 19 years old and he doesn’t have the experience.

“Other than that, how does he compare to these other players? To me, that’s how we have to make the judgment.”

In an interesting turn, Poile also mentioned his thought process with Jones was similar to what he thought of Montreal’s Alex Galchenyuk.

“He’s in his second year, he’s only 19 years old, but he’s a really, really good player,” Poile said. “We’re not averse to choosing him over more veteran players if he’s the best player.”

Galchenyuk has 15 points through 21 games this year, and was also invited to the August camp in Arlington.

Related: Video: PHT Extra, Olympic talk — the Americans are coming!

  1. sjtorpitt - Nov 19, 2013 at 1:58 PM

    Braun should be on there.

    • blackhawksdynasty - Nov 19, 2013 at 7:50 PM

      Reason #472 why you’re not an Olympic scout

  2. peterjohnjoseph - Nov 19, 2013 at 1:58 PM

    How is Torey Krug not on this list, yet Seth Jones is?

    Is anyone even watching? I can’t wait to hear this is about his size. That will prove no one was watching. That kid uses the size he has to throw people off balance like no ones business, is as rough in the corners as you could want out of someone not Zdeno Chara, and has speed and an offensive skill set that can’t be ignored. Yet, it is…

    • peterjohnjoseph - Nov 19, 2013 at 2:00 PM

      I forgot to add-

      It’s funny, all of the above qualities sound exactly like something you would want on a larger ice surface.

    • odj810 - Nov 19, 2013 at 2:17 PM

      Cant believe he is not at least in the mix. That is a very talented group and not sure if he would make the team. his skill set deserves a look however. Kids plays his but off.

    • c9castine - Nov 19, 2013 at 2:25 PM

      who said he’s not in the mix? that list is the guys who were invited to camp not who’s on the list. I’m willing to bet bogosian trouba and faulk aren’t even much of a thought anymore. 5 of those guys are locks.

    • stepanup - Nov 19, 2013 at 2:39 PM

      I think the argument against Krug isn’t his ability, it’s his style. Look at the names above, Yandle, Shattenkirk, Gardiner and Leddy are all great skating offensive minded defenseman who have been in the NHL longer than Krug. That’s not a shot against Krug because he’s one hell of a young player, but you can’t have a complete defense corps of OFD’s.

      My takeway from the list is how can Jake Gardiner be on America’s top 12 but not consistently in Toronto’s top 6?

    • bsaures - Nov 19, 2013 at 11:36 PM

      The reason he won’t be on the team is because eventhough he has put some decent points as a defenceman he has been extremely sheltered in terms of who he matches up against and his icetime. He usually plays against teams 3rd and 4th lines and only plays 17-18mins per game imagine him going up against Canada’s 4th line guys like Getzlaf, Sharp, St.Louis, Staal, Duchene, Bergeron he would get embarrassed constantly

    • brockohol - Nov 22, 2013 at 1:25 PM

      Agree Krug is a nice young player…but if your playing CAN in the gold medal game and its tied in the third period, do you want him on the ice? Personally I dont want any D man without a few years under the belt on the ice at all…including Jones.

  3. nj666 - Nov 19, 2013 at 2:27 PM

    Paul Martin? Are you kidding? I’d put Andy Greene in there he’s been playing great since ’12

    • c9castine - Nov 19, 2013 at 3:00 PM

      says the new jersey devils fan who lost paul martin to free agency.

    • steelpenbucs87 - Nov 19, 2013 at 3:06 PM

      Paul Martin played extremely well last year and has continued that this year at both ends of the ice. He’s had good handle, makes good decisions, and has been stout in the defensive end.

      Not sure he makes the squad but he’s definitely within the top 5-10 American Defensemen going right now.

  4. 6sensational65 - Nov 19, 2013 at 2:58 PM

    Suter Yandle
    E.Johnson J.Johnson
    Shattenkirk Byfuglien/Mcdonagh

    • c9castine - Nov 19, 2013 at 3:28 PM

      thats a terrible d lineup and is still missing one.

  5. pfhockey - Nov 19, 2013 at 3:29 PM

    I’d say those guys make it along with Jones/Carlson and DeKeyser.

    • pfhockey - Nov 19, 2013 at 3:30 PM

      @sensational65

  6. c9castine - Nov 19, 2013 at 3:36 PM

    suter – yandle
    orpik – martin
    shattenkirk – dekeyser
    e. johnson – mcdonagh

    • lowenni - Nov 19, 2013 at 4:00 PM

      Orpik won’t make it. His foot speed has decreased and he won’t be able to keep up on the bigger ice surfaces

      • steelpenbucs87 - Nov 19, 2013 at 4:20 PM

        Agree completely – but don’t underestimate Bylsma/Shero’s affinity for their guys.

        Personally I don’t think he should make it (although I still love Brooks) but I think he might be a couple years past Olympic level play.

    • enteneller10 - Nov 19, 2013 at 6:02 PM

      You’d really place DeKeyser before McDonagh? I realize DeKeyser has been pretty good for Detroit this year, but I wouldn’t place him above McDonagh. McDonagh has good speed and some good offensive skill, both of which will come in handy on the larger rinks. He’s put up good numbers against the NHL’s top lines, and has done so consistently for the last few seasons.

  7. greatmiamisportsmind - Nov 19, 2013 at 3:57 PM

    Given how bitter Poile is at Suter, I’m surprised he didn’t put personal feelings first and keep Suter off.

  8. lowenni - Nov 19, 2013 at 4:03 PM

    In no particular order or lineup, I think the top 6 D should be:

    Suter
    Yandle
    McDonagh
    Big Buff
    Carlson/Shattenkirk
    Martin/DeKeyser

  9. badgerhockey77 - Nov 19, 2013 at 6:43 PM

    Here’s my prediction in order.

    Suter – E. Johnson
    McDonagh – Carlson
    Yandle – Faulk
    Dekyser – Jones

    Sorry…Big Buff and Orpik won’t make the team. Too slow. Jack Johnson is having a crap year, so he’s off. Shattenkirk, Leddy and Gardiner averaging less then 20 minutes a game for their teams. Fowler is playing well but is a bit weak. Don’t think Martin should make it either. Younger, faster options with same capabilities available. Bogosian is a beast but doesn’t display enough offense.

  10. c9castine - Nov 19, 2013 at 11:39 PM

    its weird how people form opinions

    brooks orpik is not slow. say he won’t make the team, but stop saying its because he’s slow, because he’s probably quicker than he’s ever been this year, and he’s always been known for his skating. (for those who have watched him actually play hockey for the last 11 years)

  11. brockohol - Nov 22, 2013 at 1:23 PM

    Yandle Martin
    Shattenkirk Suter
    E Johnson McDonough
    xCarlson Orpik

    Shattenkirk has too good of numbers this year to leave him out of the mix but as a Blues fan, I was troubled by his lack of effectiveness in the D zone v Kings last two years playoffs. Has been pretty damn good this year though. Like the way EJohnson is playing as well. He played big minutes on last US team

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