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Poile ‘expecting real good things’ from Jones in 14-15

Aug 11, 2014, 9:00 AM EDT

Seth Jones Getty Images

Nashville’s defense already looks pretty good going into 2014-15, but Seth Jones is something of a question mark.

The 19-year-old blueliner (he’ll turn 20 on Oct. 3) has a lot of upside, but his rookie campaign was far from perfect and while that’s not surprising or worthy of condemnation, it still remains to be seen how long it will take him to break out.

Predators GM David Poile seemed hesitant to set the bar too high for Jones, but he is clearly upbeat about the defenseman’s development.

“For 19 years old I’m not sure what you’re supposed to expect, but he did a lot of really good things,” Poile told NHL.com. “I know he had some bumps in the road. I think his plus/minus (minus-23), you’d like to be better, but he went over to the [2014 IIHF] World Championship and played really well; best defenseman in the tournament. He’s been working out all summer. I’m expecting real good things. Just a little bit better in every area.”

Sophomore campaigns obviously aren’t always kind, but the Predators can afford to take some of the pressure off of Jones. Shea Weber and Roman Josi each averaged over 26 minutes per game last season and will likely shoulder the bulk of the burden again in 2014-15.

  1. govtminion - Aug 11, 2014 at 10:11 AM

    With all due respect to Nathan MacKinnon (and there’s plenty to be had for him!), I was shocked the Avalanche didn’t take this kid with the first pick last summer. Not that MacKinnon didn’t turn out to be a very good choice, but Jones is going to be a beast of a defenseman- Nashville really lucked out on getting this kid. Looking forward to seeing him get better over the next couple of years.

    • withseidelinn - Aug 11, 2014 at 10:18 AM

      Mackinnon will be a beast of a forward as well. They are both probably capable of being 1st overalls, but I agree that with Colorado’s needs on defense it was a little surprising they passed on Jones. It could hurt them down the road if they can’t land some higher-end defensemen.

    • avscup - Aug 11, 2014 at 9:16 PM

      I’m with you minion on that. I was really surprised but after looking at it, I think the Avs got it right. Both have huge upside but Mackinnon is special and I think Joe, Patrick and Rick Pracey figured Mac’s upside was unlimited. I also know it is so rare for a top 1st round D pick to pan out. There have not been many. It is easier to let D mature and buy them. Then you know what you have. Such a difficult position to draft!

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