2017-18 Columbus Blue Jackets Player Review: Seth Jones
The future captain of the Columbus Blue Jackets put up stellar numbers en route to his best season as a professional. And he’s only 23.
Let’s just get this out of the way first - Seth Jones should have been a Norris Finalist this season.
Seth Jones played 78 games for the Columbus Blue Jackets, only missing games late in the year when he was cross checked after ending a game against the Colorado Avalanche in overtime with the game winning goal and injuring his ribs. He never practiced again during the season. He logged monster minutes this year - 24:36 per night, the most in his career - while playing a mainstay role on defense and being one of only two Blue Jackets (along with Artemi Panarin) to cross the 50 point mark on the season.
In an unexpected development, Jones also ended the season with a letter. In the middle of the season, after the drama surrounding Jack Johnson’s trade request and Brandon Dubinsky being sent home from Las Vegas, Seth Jones was given an A on his jersey and he lived up to the letter. He developed as a leader in the locker room and on the ice by leading the way with his play, showing poise beyond his years for someone who is just 23 years old.
Jones became one of the best defensemen in the NHL this season, earning praise from across the league.
And @BlueJacketsNHL Seth Jones just made it on to my Norris Trophy ballot somewhere. What a game, what a player.— Iain MacIntyre (@imacSportsnet) April 1, 2018
I had Subban, Hedman, Doughty, Jones and Klingberg on my Norris ballot.— Adam Gretz (@AGretz) April 19, 2018
Jones will be a leader of this team for years to come. He’s a steadying presence on the back end, is a threat to score from the blue line, and provides leadership on the ice and in the room. Jones forms part of one of the best pairings in the NHL, playing every night next to Zach Werenski.
Speaking of Zach Werenski - Seth Jones showed his leadership with his young partner. As Werenski struggled during the course of the season with his injury and his ineffective play at times, he struggled to connect with the coaching staff. Jones stepped in and spoke to Tortorella on his own, telling the coach that he was going to take care of coaching his partner and help him through his issues. Jones showed real leadership in that moment, cementing his role on the team.
Jones is also capable of raising his game in the playoffs - this year, he put up 1-4-5 in six games against the Washington Capitals while playing a whopping 30:37 per night as the Jackets were eliminated. Jones was far from the cause of the playoff struggles, however, playing admirably through his injury in an effort to get the Blue Jackets to the second round for the first time in franchise history.
Seth Jones will only continue to grow as a player and a leader for the Blue Jackets, and we as fans could not be more fortunate with the opportunity to watch him on a nightly basis.
Seth Jones 2017-18 Stats
Games played: 78
Time on ice: 24:36
Penalty Minutes: 30
Corsi For (even strength): 54.1%
Take your pick. Here are some options:
A. Seth Jones earned the aforementioned letter, joining the leadership group in the room officially and cementing his status among his fellow players.
B. Three straight game winning goals, at home against Colorado, Detroit, and Montreal as the Blue Jackets won ten games in a row during their playoff push in the month of March. Jones scored the latter two after his rib injury against Colorado.
C. In a losing effort in overtime against the Vancouver Canucks, Jones notched a career high four points (1-3-4) as he played 28:57 late in the season during the Blue Jackets playoff push. It might not ended with two points, but all four of those points were vital in helping secure a playoff spot for the Blue Jackets.
Seth Jones had a great season, if you couldn’t tell.
Seth Jones scored a goal, played 20:56, and still managed to go -3 over the course of the evening as the Blue Jackets were blown out in Boston as the Bruins won 7-2.
It was Jones’ worst +/- of the season (which is not a perfect stat, but finding low points for Jones is hard).
How would you grade Seth Jones’ 2017-18 season?