Greatest Oil Kings, Number 5

This is Ron Jones in the uniform of the Boston Braves (AHL). He was a very high pick (6th overall, Bruins 1971) but didn’t deliver on promise for many reasons including injury.

Jones was known as a mobile defender with size. I have an old program that says he could play either side defensively but who knows after all these years.

Jones’ teams in junior were highly successful. In the 4 seasons he played with the Oil Kings they won WCHL Division titles in 1968-69 and 1970-71; won WCHL Regular season title in 1970-71 and were league champs and Memorial Cup participants in 1971.

In 70-71 he made the WCJHL 1st All-Star team and was the most valuable defenseman in the league. His regular season (63gp, 11-40-51) was followed by a quality playoff run (17gp, 2-13-15) and he got one assist in 2 Memorial Cup games spring 1971.

He spent one game with Boston in 71-72 (the Bruins won the Stanley that year and had a couple of decent blueliners) but couldn’t crack the lineup there or in Pittsburgh after being lost in the Intra-League draft (that’s no slight, the Bruins were stacked and lost some gems in that draft in the decade 69-79). He finished up with Washington and spent only 54 career games in the NHL.

Among the other things I can tell you:

  • Born in Vermillion.
  • Played a complete WCJHL season at age 16.
  • Wore #4 in junior and then #29 (Boston), #3 with Boston Braves of the AHL, #6 with Pittsburgh of the NHL, #17 with the Hershey Bears of the AHL and #18 and #24 with Washington Captials.
  • Helped Hershey win the Calder Cup (AHL championship), 1974.
  • Suffered knee and thigh injuries in August 1974 water skiing accident
  • Traded to Washington by Pittsburgh for Pete Laframboise, January 21, 1975
  • Played 19 games for that awful Caps 74-75 team, going minus 14.
  • Missed majority of 1976-77 because he retired mid-season.
  • Named to all-time Edmonton Oil Kings (WCJHL) team by Canadian Hockey League panel in 1999.

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