Today we reach the end of our Top 25 Under 25 series. With over 100 ballots, there was a clear #1 choice: Seth Jones
1st out of 55 eligible players (3350 points...505 points ahead of second place Zach Werenski)
Highest placement: #1 (101 ballots)
Most common placement: #1 (101 ballots)
Birthdate: October 3, 1994
Birthplace: Arlington, Texas
Weight: 210 lbs
Acquired: Traded from Nashville to Columbus for Ryan Johansen on January 6, 2016
Seth Jones had a great first full season with Columbus in 2016-17, but his follow-up was better in every way. His scoring improved from 12/30/42 to 16/41/57. His Corsi For % increased from 52.4 to 54.1 and he played over a minute more on average per game. He made his second straight All Star Game (which he had to miss due to illness) and was named second team All NHL. He finished 4th in voting for the Norris Trophy.
Off the ice, he continued to grow as a team leader. Once Jack Johnson was benched, Jones wore an A. By Torts’ own admission, Jones took the initiative on coaching his partner, Werenski.
That’s when Jonesy came in late in the season and asked for a meeting with me, and said, “Let me take care of it with Z.” He said, “It’s not working with you.” (laughs) Not so much those words, but that was the point. Seth knew. He knew what ‘Z’ was going through. To me, that helped the kid (Werenski) but it also told me about Jonesy, and where that kid is going as far as leadership.
The scariest thing is that at his young age, Jones may still get even better. He’ll have the advantage this season of a healthy Werenski as his partner, which should boost the stats for both of them. Jones should again be in the Norris conversation, with an outside chance of winning it. Expect Jones to continue being a vocal leader of the team as well.
Thanks again to everyone who voted. Stay tuned tomorrow for full results and discussion of errors and omissions.