Seth Jones: Complete Scouting Report for Popeye Jones' Son

Timothy Rapp@@TRappaRTFeatured ColumnistApril 28, 2013

GREENBURGH, NY - DECEMBER 17:  2013 NHL Draft top prospect Seth Jones poses for a photo at MSG Training Center on December 17, 2012 in Greenburgh, New York.  (Photo by Mike Stobe/Getty Images)
Mike Stobe/Getty Images

Seth Jones has the chance to make history. He also has the opportunity to become one of the best defencemen in the NHL

But let's start with all of that history business. 

Jones—son of former NBA Player Popeye Jones—is widely considered the top prospect in this year's NHL draft and was named the top prospect by the NHL's Central Scouting Service.

Were he to be selected first overall, he would be the first black player to ever achieve the feat and just the seventh player born in the United States to be the No. 1 pick. He would also be just the second defenceman taken first overall since 1997.

Don't underestimate the impact of his potential selection at No. 1 overall. Even Jay-Z has taken an interest in his career, according to the New York Post:

The next target for Jay-Z’s Roc Nation Sports banner is potential No. 1 NHL draft pick Seth Jones, according to sources. The son of Nets assistant coach and former Nuggets player Popeye Jones is already repped by CAA, Roc Nation’s partner. But sources said Jay-Z’s organization wants to strike a deal to be involved in the star’s marketing and branding, reports The Post’s Kirsten Fleming. Jones would then benefit from both sides of the CAA and Roc Nation partnership. 

When Jay-Z comes knocking, you know you're important. 

But Jones is a player, and if you listen to the scouting reports, he should be an instant contributor at the NHL level.

We start with Cam Charron of Buzzing the Net, who notes that Jones is appealing since he projects as an elite right-side defenceman:

There's no reason to doubt Jones' ability, and the prospect of a right-shooting defenceman on NHL ice should appeal to many teams. Effective, top-pairing right-side defencemen are a rare commodity at the NHL-level. Jones has size and offensive skill and well-honed defensive instincts for a player his age at the Major Junior level.

Meanwhile, NBC analyst Pierre McGuire has nothing but praise for Jones and gave Kevin Allen of USA Today a quick scouting report on the player:

"People have marveled at (the Minnesota Wild's) Jonas Brodin and (Boston Bruins') Dougie Hamilton and what they have done this season," NBC analyst Pierre McGuire said. "But Seth Jones is probably a step up on both of those players."

"He's the franchise defenseman every team is looking for," McGuire said. "His ability to one-time the puck is huge. He can really skate. He can log big minutes. He's not going to be intimidated."

Jones is a formidable physical presence, standing 6'3" and weighing 205 pounds. He's also a weapon offensively, as he scored 14 goals and totaled 56 points in 61 games for the WHL's Portland Winterhawks.

Mike G. Morreale of NHL.com notes, "It's rare to get a defenseman with his size, skating ability and smarts; also is a great leader." His colleague Steven Hoffner adds, "Excellent vision and plays smart; could be an NHL star for the next 15 years."

To be honest, it doesn't sound as though Jones has any holes in his game. He seems to be the rare prospect that has high upside and is simultaneously a safe pick. And seeing as he's also a rare commodity as a right-side, two-way defenceman, he's all the more valuable.

He should be able to make the jump to the NHL level next season despite not turning 19 until October. He's that special.

Make yourselves more familiar with Mr. Jones, folks. Not only is he set to make history, he also may be one of the NHL's finest defencemen—or players in general, for that matter—for the next 15 years.

If Jay-Z thinks so, you know it's true.

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