OILERS NO. 13 PROSPECT: CALEB JONES

by Lowetide

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.

caleb jones capture

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.

PREVIOUS RANKINGS

  • 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.

2015-16

  • 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

CALEB JONES

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.

THE FUTURE

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.
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[…] I admit I have not watched much WHL hockey as I usually do this season. That said, Jones has been quite impressive so far. The Cult of Hockey had Jones ranked at number 14 for the prospect rankings  during the summer, while Lowetide had Jones ranked at number 13 during the winter.  […]

Prince Rupert's Oildrop

Hmm, Tobias Rieder is coming alive this season … 28-6-8-14.

PhrankLee

frjohnk: We are not in the playoff race because we are playoff worthy.
Its the weak division.

I get that. But the implosion required from the other teams is astronomical.

There is blood in the water in the Pacific. But the swim is too far. In my opinion.

frjohnk

PhrankLee: We have to win 6 road games to break even in the away category. In a row.

I cannot see that happening anytime soon.

If by the end of the year we get to .500 on the road I would be thrilled!!

We are 4-10-1 on the road.

Of the teams in the “hunt” (top4 of each div) the worst road record is 4-4-4.

We are not in the playoff race because we are playoff worthy.

Its the weak division.

I also believe we will play better as we get healthy.

The chance to actually make the playoffs is small, but its better than a dumb and dumber chance.

PhrankLee

frjohnk: If we can get healthy and goaltending stays above average, we will challenge for a spot.

We have to win 6 road games to break even in the away category. In a row.

I cannot see that happening anytime soon.

If by the end of the year we get to .500 on the road I would be thrilled!!

We are 4-10-1 on the road.

Of the teams in the “hunt” (top4 of each div) the worst road record is 4-4-4.

Bruce McCurdy

zatch:
Ca$h-McMoney!,

Fair enough. I zeroed in on a Bold and Brash(tm) projection. Although good #5 guy is hardly bold.

Paigin though…he has me dreaming in technicolour. Those are very good numbers for a rookie D in that league, and he is a big lad.

Minor point but Paigin is not a rookie. He played 33 games in the KHL last season.

Water Fire

böök¡je:
I was going to respond to one of the comments here, but after taking the time to log in, I forgot what I was going to say.

Welcome to the club and F*** Y**

Ca$h-McMoney!

zatch,

Oh I hear you, and I didn’t mean for you to take my post as any sort of criticism of your position, realistically I feel the same way.

Long and short of it, all of Bear, Jones, Paijin and Marino look to be on track or better. That’s wonderful for a number of reasons. For example, it gives us more freedom to go ahead and spend a draft pick on a too-small-for-the-NHL-forward-with-crazy-skill-who-falls-in-the-draft-despite-a-quality-NHLE next year, which is always fun.

frjohnk

G Money:
*** SUPER LATE NIGHT NERD ALERT: https://oilersnerdalert.wordpress.com/2015/12/09/edmonton-oilers-vital-signs/

A look at the current state of the Oilers. It is quite possibly the nerdiest Nerd Alert I have ever written, what with Star Trek and Rush references galore. Plus it’s posted at a particularly nerdy hour, given I have to get up in four and a half hours for work.

You be the judge: has Peak Nerd been achieved?

Looking at that would suggest a team that is not playoff bound.

But…

-we expected ( hoped) to be around the 22nd- 24th place spot. The numbers in that table would suggest that.

-a playoff spot in the pacific could mean a team that is 20th best in the league.

-we are number 1 in impactful man games lost.

If we can get healthy and goaltending stays above average, we will challenge for a spot.

zatch

Ca$h-McMoney!,

Fair enough. I zeroed in on a Bold and Brash(tm) projection. Although good #5 guy is hardly bold.

Paigin though…he has me dreaming in technicolour. Those are very good numbers for a rookie D in that league, and he is a big lad.

Ca$h-McMoney!

zatch,

I hear you. Funny thing though, if there is one thing I’ve picked up on lately it’s that defining what players, especially D, are going to be in a draft plus 1 is tough to do. Especially guys who have taken a non traditional path (like Jones, or for a local example, Davidson).

Here’s what I know:

1. His numbers suggest he is a good hockey player
2. His relative newness suggests there is more room for improvement as he continues to push himself.
3. His brother is a guy who has a reasonable chance of cracking the US Olympic Team roster in years to come. His dad played pro basketball for many years. The kid likely has the genetic makeup to be a top level athlete: if he also benefited from growing up in an environment where he was taught about the need for hard work and sacrifice to achieve that extra level of athleticism, then he might be very very good (pedigree suggests he may have). This is true of Darnell Nurse, and Jeff Petry.
4. While all of these things are good arrows, history suggests a pick like this won’t contribute for, at the very least, 2 more years. Probably 4 years from now.

All of these things are good arrows. I’m not willing to concede that he will be an NHLer any more than I am willing to suggests he’s a third pairing guy. He will end up somewhere in between competent AHLer (I’m confident at this point he won’t bust out of the minors and will earn a contract) and capable #2 NHL dman (he probably won’t win the Norris Trophy but he might be very good).

zatch

It’s morning in the Capital, and my desk is quiet.
Paigin…damn son. Slow down. Even if those are inflated numbers (and I’m sure they are on some level) there is something there.

Ca$h-McMoney!,

I agree. That’s not shabby. Although I see Jones ceiling realistically as a modern (read: can move the puck on some level) bottom pairing D. Not that that is a bad thing. Man, I’ve rarely been so optimistic about this team.

Hope is a funny thing, gentlemen. And I suppose ladies.

Ca$h-McMoney!

I said this in an earlier thread, but Marino looks like the worst of the four D picked in June.

Marino looks pretty good.

Quality drafting from Chia. McDavid is the be all end all, but if we end up with 2 NHL D from this draft in 5 years, it’ll be a heck of a draft, especially considering what we moved for Reinhart and Talbot.

PhrankLee

G Money: A look at the current state of the Oilers. It is quite possibly the nerdiest Nerd Alert I have ever written, what with Star Trek and Rush references galore. Plus it’s posted at a particularly nerdy hour, given I have to get up in four and a half hours for work.
You be the judge: has Peak Nerd been achieved?

Awesome use of the bio-bed G. It really lends itself well to visualizing the Oilers place.

I cannot see them make the playoffs without the PDO push Cal got last year.

It would be great for the team, fans, ownership.

But it’s not going to happen. “Meaningful games” in December only means that mathematical elimination may happen later than late January.

I have stated it before but the path is more important than the destination this year.

I want to see a competitive team at or near .500 by the end of the year. I have no expectations higher than that.

If we go into next year as a typical .500 team we have a really good chance. Next year.

Bruce, get up!

Yeti

G Money:
*** SUPER LATE NIGHT NERD ALERT: https://oilersnerdalert.wordpress.com/2015/12/09/edmonton-oilers-vital-signs/

A look at the current state of the Oilers. It is quite possibly the nerdiest Nerd Alert I have ever written, what with Star Trek and Rush references galore. Plus it’s posted at a particularly nerdy hour, given I have to get up in four and a half hours for work.

You be the judge: has Peak Nerd been achieved?

I think it’s very useful to have a distant early warning that we are unlikely to make the playoffs.

Optimism is Foolish

G Money,

very close to peak nerd with the star trekkian theme.

I can’t say i was completely shocked but wow the oilers are not a playoff team by a single one of the 11 categories you chose. By playoff team I just mean top 16. Barring some moves to shore up the defense and a stellar second half from the injured I just don’t see it this year. Miles better than the last decade it seems but no cigar this year.

G Money

*** SUPER LATE NIGHT NERD ALERT: https://oilersnerdalert.wordpress.com/2015/12/09/edmonton-oilers-vital-signs/

A look at the current state of the Oilers. It is quite possibly the nerdiest Nerd Alert I have ever written, what with Star Trek and Rush references galore. Plus it’s posted at a particularly nerdy hour, given I have to get up in four and a half hours for work.

You be the judge: has Peak Nerd been achieved?

Younger Oil

I know this is a random thing to bring up, but it shows how ridiculous the Bettman point is.

Out of the last 10 games of every team in the NHL, only 5 are considered to be playing “Below .500 Hockey”. Only NYR, NAS, VCR, ARI, and BUF have averaged less than a point a game over their last 10 games.

This league needs to stop rewarding teams for losing.

jp

Lowetide: The shooting percentage is the concern with Paigin.

I agree Paigin’s offense is likely inflated, but the shooting % isn’t all that crazy.

Overall 3G on 37 shots in 24GP (8.1%). With Sochi he’s got 34SOG in 16GP. Whatever the shooting percentage 2 shots per game is a very solid number.

At this point his offense (24-3-8-11) is actually topping what both Slepyshev and Yakimov did in the KHL. Crazy stuff for a 6’6″ defenseman.

His history doesn’t suggest an offensive player, but this is a really intriguing prospect.

Bruce McCurdy

hunter1909:
Anyone heard of Mitch Moroz lately?

yeah, Gerry Fleming was on the radio today saying Moroz has been hurt & out for more than 2 weeks.

ok NOW i will shut up & go to bed.

Bruce McCurdy

Lowetide: Which is also in the story. -)

Good point, & good on you for catching another Caleb Jones post so close to your own scheduled publication.

Thanks LT, thanks Stevezie, thanks Ben, thanks readers. I’ll shut up & go to bed now.

dustrock

RexLibris:
I remember reading some post-draft analyses online in the days after and one observer from a rival city mentioned that outside of McDavid the rest of the Oilers’ draft day was a flaming pile of garbage (near-verbatim).

Not sure how they came to that conclusion so quickly, perhaps it was the trades for Reinhart, Talbot and Gryba, but I remember thinking at the time that both Jones and Bear looked like good picks that fell and the Oilers could end up with three players (including McDavid) on six picks which is a phenomenal rate of return.

Long way to go yet, but these are encouraging signs and better sooner than later.

I remember one draft site looked at all 30 teams and ranked the drafts based only on picks taken vs where the consensus had them going, and the Oilers were ranked #1 in the draft on that context.

"Steve Smith"

RexLibris: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HLSDsyTgldY

Could use some cabaret, and maybe a kangaroo.

stevezie
Bruce McCurdy

CrazyCoach:
Saw Jones play last week.He does have an offensive upside to his game.

My only hope is that the Oilers don’t rush him along.

The need to get a d-man intensifies watching these young prospects.

Patience, patience, patience!

Don’t be shy, Ben. Give folks the link!

Aron_S

RexLibris,

Yeah, that definitely jives with my eye test. I feel like if the Flames had a consistent coach and decent goaltending, they could be a really solid team. Funny that their problems sound familiar.

http://hockeystats.ca/game/2015020416 Brodie and Giordano at 50% EV corgis and the other D struggle.

Looks like Stalock got over the early relief goal (.947), so tomorrow looks like a coin flip. Historically. I’m still hoping the Oilers are shooting on Stalock, despite Jones poor start.

RexLibris

Aron_S:
RexLibris,

As someone watching the Flames with a close eye, what’s going on with Dougie Hamilton’s season? Is he a more talented Jultz, growing pains for a 22 year old Dman or a systems/sans Chara problem? None/all of the above?

I haven’t watched him that often this year – just haven’t caught a lot of the Flames’ games.

However, what I’m seeing and what I’ve read thus far suggest that how he was used by Julien is different from Hartley and he is adapting.

We know the following: Giordano is good BUT Brodie makes players better.

Hamilton did not play well with Giordano but I don’t know if he’s had much, if any, time with Brodie because when Brodie came back from injury the season was on the ropes and Hartley needed his 1/2D back pronto.

I think Hamilton is a good young defender, but we saw Sekera struggle for the first while on a new team and new coach and he’s a veteran.

Will he come around? Probably, but I think some of this comes down to Hartley using the players appropriately. He favours Engelland and Bollig and Russell when there are wiser options. He gets results that I would call bias feedback – that is, the team plays uptempo and aggressive and if they win then the system works, but when they lose, and during his tenure thus far that is more often than winning, he sticks with the same system but shuffles around some bodies and often the wrong ones.

So the positive results tell him his system works but there aren’t that many positives outside of last season, but the negative results are because the players aren’t doing it properly so he sits a player like Backlund in favour of Bollig or some such cockamamy thing.

Aron_S

RexLibris,

As someone watching the Flames with a close eye, what’s going on with Dougie Hamilton’s season? Is he a more talented Jultz, growing pains for a 22 year old Dman or a systems/sans Chara problem? None/all of the above?

Fuhr and Lowething in Vegreville

Colin Wilson scratched tonight, hmmm…

Would something like Eberle + Fayne + prospect/pick be enough for say Wilson and Ellis?

Would that make sense for us?

RexLibris

Sharks are playing like absolute garbage tonight.

I haven’t watched much of them this year, but if they keep this up that’s another Pacific Division spot up for grabs.

RexLibris

Aron_S:
RexLibris,

I wonder which goalie SJ plays tonight, but neither has looked sharp tonight.

Also I can’t believe Gaudreau’s talent. The pass on the disallowed goal was sick and he’s been gifted so many 3on3 OT games this year, the open ice really plays to his strengths. I really thought teams would slow him down this season, but man that kid has skills. Reminds me of Ebs’ 76 point season. They’ve got an enviable selection of young forwards.

Jones was pulled for Stalock in the 2nd. So I guess it depends on how Stalock does from here on out (1 goal against).

My guess is they go back to Jones to get him back on track.

As for Gaudreau, teams aren’t playing him properly. 5v5 you take away his shot and force him to pass because he’s their best shooter right now. If you play him close in tight, away from open ice, you can force a pas away or a less-dangerous shot against.

He’s very good, but teams can defend against him.

LadiesloveSmid

Lowetide,

Faulk with another 2 PPGs tonight, I don’t know if those were included

Mr DeBakey

Woodguy: Yes

I don’t know, I just thought I’d ask.

RexLibris

Winging It In Motown ‏@wingingitmotown 12m12 minutes ago

Dallas is that person you date who is absolutely great in the sack but whose lifelong goal is to meet Chef Boyardee in person someday.

Aron_S

RexLibris,

I wonder which goalie SJ plays tonight, but neither has looked sharp tonight.

Also I can’t believe Gaudreau’s talent. The pass on the disallowed goal was sick and he’s been gifted so many 3on3 OT games this year, the open ice really plays to his strengths. I really thought teams would slow him down this season, but man that kid has skills. Reminds me of Ebs’ 76 point season. They’ve got an enviable selection of young forwards.

Ryan

RexLibris:
I hope the Sharks bring this level of “focus” to their game tomorrow night.

It’s like they adopted the Eakins defensive schemes.

This is all Woodje’s fault. 🙂 (Calgary being ahead by 2)

Be careful what you wish for,

CrazyCoach

Saw Jones play last week. He does have an offensive upside to his game.

My only hope is that the Oilers don’t rush him along.

The need to get a d-man intensifies watching these young prospects.

Patience, patience, patience!

RexLibris

I hope the Sharks bring this level of “focus” to their game tomorrow night.

It’s like they adopted the Eakins defensive schemes.

RexLibris
Pastor of Disaster

Lowetide: Neither player was on the invite list.

Well, if Lagesson is the only Oilers prospect playing this year, maybe I just won’t watch the World Juniors.*

*That statement was sarcasm. That tournament is the crystal meth of hockey tournaments. I could never quit it if I tried.

Woodguy

RexLibris: Hu?

Yes

JD_Wry

böök¡je: I forgot what I was going to say.

Was it, “BÖÖGER!”

RexLibris

Lowetide: I count them by hand.

https://lowetide.ca/2013/12/02/14-prospect-david-musil/

We use the same mathematical technique, I see.

I’m doing some reckoning right now for the RE updates and I am experiencing varying shades of envy and hatred for those like G who can write scripts to make Skynet go and gather their datas and collate their graphs.

Damned kids and their infernal machines!

RexLibris

böök¡je:
I was going to respond to one of the comments here, but after taking the time to log in, I forgot what I was going to say.

I had a point to make here but darned if that log in didn’t take so long I went and forgot what I was going to say.

RexLibris

hunter1909:
Anyone heard of Mitch Moroz lately?

Hu?

Pastor of Disaster

Is there any chance we might see Bear or Jones at the WJC? They weren’t invited to the camp, were they? I had heard this year’s team was pretty up in the air compared to the last couple years. Maybe they can sneak in?

Also: remember Nurse at the World Junior’s? How glorious. I had resigned myself to not watching McDavid too hopefully (there was NO WAY we were getting him, right?!), so it was all Darnell, all the time. And he did not disappoint.

böök¡je

I was going to respond to one of the comments here, but after taking the time to log in, I forgot what I was going to say.