February 9, 2010

Son of NBA star, Seth Jones making name in hockey

Seth Jones has a big decision to make in the next few months but it has nothing to do with picking a college destination. One of the top prospects in the Class of 2013, the 6-4, 175-pound Dallas Stars AAA defender's next decision will affect his entire hockey future …

Though only a freshman in high school, Jones has already been inundated with calls and letters from NCAA programs such as Denver, North Dakota and Miami, however, he was also a 2009 WHL draft pick of the Everett Silvertips, and if he signs to play for the Silvertips next season, he will void his collegiate eligibility.

"It's a big decision and I want to take my time because this is deciding whether I want to play college hockey or if I just want to begin a pro career in hopes that it takes me to the NHL faster," he said. "At the moment, all of my doors are still open."

If Jones opts for the college route, he will sign on with the U.S. National Team Development Program, and play for the Under-17 team next year. He could always agree to play for the USA program, learn a little bit more about his hockey future and then sign professionally, though Jones did not indicate that is a current path he's considering.

Though he lives in Dallas now, Jones grew up in Colorado while his father - retired NBA player Jerome "Popeye" Jones -- played for the Denver Nuggets. The family would routinely check out Avalanche games and soon Jones was lacing up skates.

"A lot of my friends were playing hockey so I went to a few open skates, eventually took skating lessons and I just started liking it a lot," he said. "Obviously, I get the stuff about being his son a lot, but I'm following a different path with hockey instead of basketball. I'd liked to be known for making my own name."

And he has that potential.

"He's a very smart, skilled defenseman with an NHL frame," Stars head coach Adam Robbins said. "He's very young for our team. He's a 1994 birthday and some of the guys on our team are three years older than him, so as he matures physically, he'll get stronger and faster.

"But he has an innate ability to read plays, to position himself and his stick in passing lanes, to break up a forecheck using his size to protect the puck. He really is a very talented player with an extremely bright future."

With postseason action about to start, Jones has his focus on the present, but he knows he must soon make a decision on his future.

"I have to make it by the end of the year," he said. "I have good options. If I play for the national team, I know I'll develop my game and if I play for the Silvertips, I know that I can improve quickly also. This decision is about what I want to do next year but I guess it's also what I want to do in two or three years."

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