It's huge news for the WHL and fans of the NHL draft as Jones is already an elite player. He's also expected to be a top 3 pick in the 2013 NHL draft. He's coming off a USHL season where he posted 12 points in 20 games and also captained Team USA to a Gold Medal at the U-18's in the Czech Republic only weeks ago. He stands 6'3, weighs over 200 pounds and is the son of former NBA player Popeye Jones...so expect him to continue to grow.
The 2013 NHL draft is shaping up to be fantastic, especially when looking out West at the WHL. Jones now likely stands head and shoulders above the rest of the WHL crop, but that's no slight against the other players eligible. He's simply that good. He controls the tempo of a game, is a great skater for his size, hits like a truck, has excellent vision and a rocket of a shot. He can play top PP minutes and on the top PK unit. I wouldn't hesitate to say that he is very close to being NHL-ready.
I am not jumping up and down to be honest. If there is any team I am happy he goes to, Portland would be it... but I still feel he would develope better at NoDak then the WHL.
I just love dmen going the college route, especially those like Jones who need to hit the weight room a lot. Jones needs to get stronger as he grows into his frame. College helps a player do that better imo, but he wants to go the fast route I guess.
I will be cheering bigtime for him as he certainly is a highend player, but he has a bit to go before he is NHL ready...Portland is going to be loaded with US kids...I love that.