When the Edmonton Oilers drafted Caleb Jones, there was a lot of talk about defense and very little about his offensive game. As time elapses, it appears Jones has a far more complete game.
PREVIOUSLY NO. 13 ON THE WINTER LIST
- December 2004: C Jesse Niinimaki (0) (GM: Kevin Lowe)
- December 2005: C Jonas Almtorp (0) (GM: Kevin Lowe)
- December 2006: D Bryan Young (17) (GM: Kevin Lowe)
- December 2007: L Liam Reddox (100) (GM: Kevin Lowe)
- December 2008: L Slava Trukhno (0) (GM: Kevin Lowe)
- December 2009: L Phil Cornet (2) (GM: Kevin Lowe)
- December 2010: C Ryan Martindale (0) (GM: Steve Tambellini)
- December 2011: L Tobias Rieder (99) (GM: Steve Tambellini)
- December 2012: L Tobias Rieder (99) (GM: Steve Tambellini)
- December 2013: D Taylor Fedun (11) (FA signing, GM Steve Tambellini)
- December 2014: D Martin Gernat (0) (GM: Steve Tambellini)
If you count 100 games as success, there are two of them from the last decade who I posted this late in the ranking. Tobias Rieder looks like the kind of player Stu MacGregor was fired for not drafting.
WHAT THEY SAID ON DRAFT DAY
- Future Considerations: Jones is a good skater, with a good stride and good speed to join a rush and then get back quickly. He shows some puck skill that would be expected of someone related to Seth, who is a confident puck-carrier.
- 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.”
- ISS says Jones improved his game over the last couple of season. He’s good with the headman pass and doesn’t leave the forward exposed. Improved quickness and speed, they also say “good edges” that help him on offense and defense.
- Black Book got a look at Jones at the 5 Nations Cup and had good things to say. The scouting service noted his impressive positioning on the power play and his dependability in all situations.
I recall Seth Jones confirming with the @pdxwinterhawks during the WHL playoffs a few years back. Yesterday brother Caleb Jones did too.
— Guy Flaming (@TPS_Guy) May 1, 2015
- Summer 2015: No. 17
- Winter 2015: No. 13
The scouting reports I read left me with the impression Jones was shy offensively, so that two-way description seemed a stretch. So far, he appears to be a far more impressive talent with the puck than the collective reports implied. That could be me mis-reading, or Jones’ boxcars not telling the story, but he is having a strong WHL season (27GP, 4-16-20) in what is probably the second best junior league on the planet.
— Tanner Wilson (@TexSR_Tanner1) November 14, 2015
- David Hahn, Hockey’s Future: Before this year, Caleb Jones was simply known as the younger brother of Nasvhille Predators defenseman Seth Jones. The conversation is shifting in recent weeks, as Caleb is looking like a player primed for big things in his first season in the WHL. The move to Portland was a bit of a surprise, as Jones spent the last two years playing within the U.S. National Team Development Program. Among first-year defensemen, Jones ranks first in goals, assists, and points and sits 12th overall in scoring by rearguards in the entire WHL. An extremely mobile pivot, Jones is able to keep up with the best players in the league and has brought a physical element to the Portland Winterhawks defense. Source
- Ben Berland, Cult of Hockey: Caleb Jones has fairly decent skating skills in terms of backwards and forwards, stops and starts, but I did notice that he did get beat to this left side a couple times during the game. Nothing too glaring nor too bad that a little gap control wouldn’t cure. As with most young defencemen, time and patience are required. The footspeed will come with time and development. Source
- Caleb Jones: “The Oilers want me to focus on the defensive side of the game and to make simple plays, but I’ve gotten better already this year. They love me playing offense.” Source
CALEB JONES SCORING BY DISCIPLINE AND SEASON
The two seasons leading up to this one are difficult to suss out, there simply isn’t enough there. The WHL season gives us more to go on and we do see some offense. Warning: The PP minutes are unlikely to be there when he turns pro or makes it to the NHL. He does have enough offense to keep him from being called a ‘stay-at-home’ defenseman and for now that is enough to allay my fears about that side of his game. We need to see more of him and the second half of this season will be interesting to follow.
I miscast him in the summer, believing he was a defensive defender. The development camp was an eye opener, he has some speed and tools and perhaps we are looking at a raw player, but he has talent. In the winter rankings, he should be higher but the No. 1 picks didn’t graduate until after the list was created (Connor McDavid, Leon Draisaitl and Darnell Nurse should all be graduates by summer). Caleb Jones was not well known to us on draft day, but in the months since has been impressive.
THE 2015 DRAFT
- C Connor McDavid, No. 1 overall. Incredible talent took about four games to kick out the jams. Oilers fans remain in a major sulk, and with good reason. Good times on the way when he returns. No. 1 prospect, Winter 2015.
- D Caleb Jones, No. 117 overall. The smooth skating defender has been a revelation, displaying a nice range of skills in his early WHL career. No. 13 prospect, Winter 2015.
- D Ethan Bear, No. 124 overall. Surprised he fell as he did in this year’s draft (Button had him third round, I had him second). Either way, he’s an Oilers prospect and things are progressing very well—Bear is No. 2 in scoring by defensemen in the WHL so far this year. No. 9 prospect, Winter 2015.
- D John Marino, No. 154 overall. Mobile offensive defender had an immediate impact with Tri-City Storm of the USHL. Cooled off, but a promising first quarter. A candidate for the Winter Top 20.
- G Miroslav Svoboda, No. 208 overall. Struggled in the Cze-2 league early but recent efforts have been very strong. Early days. A candidate for the Winter Top 20.
- D Ziyat Paigin, No. 209 overall. A transfer to Sochi has this KHL D on fire. He’s 24GP, 4-7-11 so far this KHL season and that’s exceptional. A candidate for the Winter Top 20.