You tend to hear Norris Trophy and Seth Jones in the same sentence around Columbus’s parts. And yet, one can still classify Jones as one of the more underrated guys in the NHL.
In fact, rather inexplicably, Jones has never finished in the top three for the Norris, only finishing as high as fourth in 2017-18. He won’t win it this year, though he did miss a stretch of games in February to injury, and then the NHL went on the Coronavirus hiatus a few weeks later.
For some reason, we saw takes from FanSided’s Editor in Leaf making ridiculous claims such as Seth Jones is overrated. The writer in question, James Tanner, uses WAR to try to prove his point, saying, “Seth Jones has never had the kind of four win season that Rielly enjoyed last year. He is extremely overrated and, at best, would be the Leafs third best defenseman.”
Then after the Blue Jackets knocked out the Leafs in their own arena in five games, the FanSided editor in question stuck to his claim on Twitter:
Its still 100% true— Editor in Leaf (@EditorinLeaf) August 10, 2020
Finally, there was also this piece by The Athletic’s Dom Luszczyszyn and Scott Wheeler titled Video Room: He played over an hour but was Seth Jones actually good in Game 1?
With or With You
5v5 offense with Jones
5v5 offense without Jones
5v5 defense with Jones
5v5 Defense without Jones
Seth Jones 2019-20 Stats
Games Played: 56
5v5 CF%: 49.5
5v5 FF%: 50.3
Games Played: 10
5v5 CF%: 43.9
5v5 FF%: 42.9
Seth Jones is signed through 2021-22, his age 26-season, and making an AAV of $5.4 million going back to the $32.4 million deal he signed prior to the 2016-17 season. He’ll be one of the very best free agents potentially available in the summer of 2023, and it’s imperative to re-sign one of the best young defenseman, and one of hockey’s best overall players, sooner than later.
I think you could classify Game 1 of the Blue Jackets-Lightning series as a high point for Jones as he played literally one hour on the ice (65:06) across five overtimes, setting an NHL record for ice-time.
No surprise, Jones led the team in average ice-time throughout the season (25:17), and was second on the team with 123 blocks. He was one of five Blue Jackets — second defenseman on the team behind Zach Werenski — to crack 30 points and his seven assists on the power play was third on the club.
So going back to the fractured ankle right before the NHL pause? Not only did it take Jones out of action, but the Blue Jackets promptly hit the skids, losing eight in a row and 10 of 11. If anything, the absence of Jones magnified the strength he brings to the club while on the ice.
In the Game 3 comeback win over the Maple Leafs in the play-in round, a puck off Cody Ceci’s stick deflected off Jones and into the net for Toronto resulting in a short-handed goal. But Jones made up for it with a goal of his own a bit later, at the time bringing Columbus within one, which eventually turned into a 4-3 come-from-behind overtime winner.
At the end of the day, it’s really no surprise as to what Jones can do on the ice for a team. The Blue Jackets are only better for having the kind of consistency no. 3 provides on a nightly basis. The only surprise is the narrative some people try to spin regarding Jones’s game.
How would you grade Seth Jones this season?
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