TRAINING CAMP HOPEFUL NO. 8: CALEB JONES

The best draft day Caleb Jones scouting report came from Caleb Jones:

  • I play a bit like my brother, I think we’re both two-way defencemen. I think I’m a little more of a physical and aggressive player than he is but I’d say in the sense of the entire game we’re pretty alike.”

Jones was not a famous prospect (despite being Seth’s brother) and his offense (25gp, 2-6-8 with the US National Development Team in the USHL) did not suggest what was to come. One thing we learned from the last two years? The US National Development Team obscures offense from some of their defensemen. Another thing we learned? Caleb Jones was a more substantial prospect than what was available to us first blush.

RE 17-18: 1GP, 0-0-0

  1. What role will Jones apply for? If he flourishes and completes development time in the AHL (it could take six months or two years), I think he’ll apply for third pairing and provide two-way play. He has to develop but the toolbox appears to be there. He may have top 4D upside but we can’t see that from here. All three game disciplines seem possible based on his skills.
  2. Will the Oilers slow play Jones? Historically, the team has brought along defensemen pretty well. He is blocked a little by Oscar Klefbom, Andrej Seker and Darnell Nurse, so it may not be slow play as opposed to no room at the inn.
  3. Does he have a real chance? Jones is part of a large group of defensemen arriving at the same time in pro hockey. Superficially, he is in competition with Ziyat Paigin, Ethan Bear and Ryan Mantha. It’s possible more than one develop and all should have a chance based on resume. None have the draft pedigree to be considered ‘sure things’ in my mind, but he has a better chance than his draft number implied.
  4. Who was the last CHL defender to come through the system successfully? I’ll list Brandon Davidson because Darnell Nurse barely played in the AHL. Others include Martin Marincin and Theo Peckham, depending on your definition of success.
  5. What makes him attractive for this roster? His foot speed and passing ability get him into the conversation and I do think mobility gives him an edge over the rest of the young group listed above.
  6. What is a reasonable timeline for full time NHL duty? I am predicting a quick cup of coffee this year, and maybe a little more than that in year two. It seems reasonable to suggest, if he can continue to make progress, Jones is pushing for a full time job in fall 2019. That falls in line with the lifting of NMC’s for Andrej Sekera and Kris Russell.
  7. What will his role be in Bakersfield? He should get a full shot at playing in the AHL this season. The LH depth chart will likely feature Ryan Stanton and Keegan Lowe, with Jones and Ziyat Paigin pushing. Two-way role, maybe some special teams minutes if he shows well.
  8. What one thing will get him to the NHL? Speed. You can’t teach it, it doesn’t go into slumps and it is useful on offense and defense. Jones has it. Big advantage.
  9. What will keep him from getting an NHL look? He has a pretty complete skill set. One thing I will say: Unlike Bear, Jones doesn’t seem to have one dominant skill, and the prevailing wisdom is that it hurts those players who don’t have one thing that stands out. I’ve always been a little skeptical, because (as an example) Denis Potvin didn’t have a dominant skill but it was of little help when you were bleeding out on the scoreboard and in actual fact.
  10. How many players can he reasonably be expected to pass in one winter? Man that’s the fun of this winter in Bakersfield. Ryan Stanton and Keegan Lowe are probably going to be the veteran LHD for the Condors, suspect Jones could pass both of them but we need to see how this plays out. Paigin is in the same spot and older, so we’ll see how they divide up the at-bats.

 

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17 Responses to "TRAINING CAMP HOPEFUL NO. 8: CALEB JONES"

  1. OriginalPouzar says:

    I think that, out of the 4 new D prospects starting their Oiler minor league careers, Jones would be the closest to getting a cup of coffee this year – I say that because of his plus skating.

    With that said, I don’t see any of Bear, Jones, Paigan, Mantha playing NHL games this year and I really hope they don’t.

    If they are playing NHL games, it likely means this team’s season is in huge jeopardy. This is why guys like Stanton were brought in – to shelter the rookie pro (Paigain a rookie NA pro) from situations they aren’t ready for.

    Gryba, Simpson, Auvitu, Stanton, Fayne are all ahead of all four kids – please let these kids marinate.

  2. BornInAGretzkyJersey says:

    OriginalPouzar,

    Agreed. Beyond an early game or two as a motivator, I don’t see any need to play the kids yet. In all reality, some pre season action should be enough, as it’s likely best to find cohesive pairings as early as possible.

  3. Lowetide says:

    OriginalPouzar:
    I think that, out of the 4 new D prospects starting their Oiler minor league careers, Jones would be the closest to getting a cup of coffee this year – I say that because of his plus skating.

    With that said, I don’t see any of Bear, Jones, Paigan, Mantha playing NHL games this year and I really hope they don’t.

    If they are playing NHL games, it likely means this team’s season is in huge jeopardy.This is why guys like Stanton were brought in – to shelter the rookie pro (Paigain a rookie NA pro) from situations they aren’t ready for.

    Gryba, Simpson, Auvitu, Stanton, Fayne are all ahead of all four kids – please let these kids marinate.

    NHL teams use 11-14 defensemen per season, you can run out due to injury in a quick hurry. Oilers START the season without Sekera, meaning they’re eight deep on the depth chart already. I would include Keegan Lowe in your list above and still wouldn’t be surprised to see the kids get a late look. NHL defensemen are in a dangerous line of work!

  4. OriginalPouzar says:

    I guess the Oilers did use 11 d-men last year and that was in a healthy year.

    I’m going to stick with my thought that, if Jones is playing NHL games, it very likely means the team is struggling with injury concerns. I think he’s 12th/13th on the depth chart.

  5. theDjdj says:

    For the sake of discussion, who this year wins the Brandon Davidson Award for Best Breakout Season by a Defenseman? So awarded to the novice defenseman who takes their cup of coffee and turns it into a Horton’s. Last year awarded to Matthew Benning and the year prior to its eponymous Oiler.

    Is it Jones, Bear, Paigan, Mantha, Simpson?

    My wildcard bet is Auvitu

  6. Lowetide says:

    theDjdj:
    For the sake of discussion, who this year wins the Brandon Davidson Award for Best Breakout Season by a Defenseman?So awarded to the novice defenseman who takes their cup of coffee and turns it into a Horton’s. Lastyear awarded to Matthew Benning and the year prior to its eponymous Oiler.

    Is it Jones, Bear, Paigan, Mantha, Simpson?

    My wildcard bet is Auvitu

    Breakout at the NHL level? Auvitu, Simpson, Keegan Lowe. Those are my candidates, would bet on Auvitu.

  7. leadfarmer says:

    Speed is the new size and he’s got it. I still think he spends pretty much his entire ELC in the AHL.

  8. theDjdj says:

    Lowetide: Breakout at the NHL level? Auvitu, Simpson, Keegan Lowe. Those are my candidates, would bet on Auvitu.

    Yes. Keegan Lowe is an unusual pick. Will there be a Training Camp Hopeful for Lowe? Curious as to what makes him stand out

  9. dessert1111 says:

    Does Jones have decent hockey sense? If so, I wonder what makes him a worse prospect than someone like Nurse? Is it just the size/hitting?

    I think Jones is obviously an unknown at this point but I think his ceiling is pretty high, like a really good 2nd pairing D. If he can read the game well I think he makes it.

  10. N64 says:

    theDjdj: For the sake of discussion, who this year wins the Brandon Davidson Award for Best Breakout Season by a Defenseman?

    ~ GR ~

  11. dustrock says:

    LT totally off topic but are you excited about the new/old Neil Young album Hitchhiker? Got a ton of great songs and sounds like it’s essentially just him and his acoustic doing stuff like Powderfinger from back in the day.

    Also heard he’s going to do an online archive with some history behind the writing and recordingof his songs.

    I love behind the scenes stuff like this.

  12. Lowetide says:

    dustrock:
    LT totally off topic but are you excited about the new/old Neil Young album Hitchhiker? Got a ton of great songs and sounds like it’s essentially just him and his acoustic doing stuff like Powderfinger from back in the day.

    Also heard he’s going to do an online archive with some history behind the writing and recordingof his songs.

    I love behind the scenes stuff like this.

    I have not heard of this, so am VERY excited!

  13. JJS says:

    I’m curious, what separates Seth from Caleb apart from size?

    They seem fairly equal in terms of junior points – with Caleb having the slight edge.

    I haven’t seen much of Seth to have insight into his game.

  14. Bank Shot says:

    JJS:
    I’m curious, what separates Seth from Caleb apart from size?

    They seem fairly equal in terms of junior points – with Caleb having the slight edge.

    I haven’t seen much of Seth to have insight into his game.

    Seth put up a better PPG in junior in his draft -1 season than Caleb did in his draft +1.

    Seth went immediately into the NHL after being drafted.

    I think Seth is probably better than Caleb at every facet of the game.

    Seth has star potential. If Caleb makes it as an NHL regular that is a win for the OIlers.

  15. theDjdj says:

    N64: ~ GR ~

    Griffin Reinhart?

  16. Oilin4 says:

    Bank Shot: Seth put up a better PPG in junior in his draft -1 season than Caleb did in his draft +1.

    Seth went immediately into the NHL after being drafted.

    I think Seth is probably better than Caleb at every facet of the game.

    Seth has star potential. If Caleb makes it as an NHL regular that is a win for the OIlers.

    Seth is 3 inches taller, 35 pounds heavier, shoots right.

  17. Johnny says:

    FYI, I have been getting the pop up add as well for a few days.

    This site was blocked at my work well before that. Probably for the better.

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