In the race for the Calder Trophy as the NHL's top rookie, forwards tend to have a bit of a built-in advantage when it comes to generating early buzz, given the greater opportunity they have to deliver highlight-reel moments. Tomas Hertl's four-goal game against the New York Rangers, for example, set YouTube ablaze with his between-the-legs score and helped lead to his Rookie of the Month honors for October.
With defensemen, a more in-depth consideration is usually required, because after all their main job is to make sure those highlight moments don't occur. Seth Jones is really starting to generate some buzz, however, and today over at Sports On Earth Stu Hackel provides a comprehensive look at what Nashville's sensational rookie is bringing to the table today, and how he's working to develop the potential which so many see in his game.
There are two elements in particular with Hackel's piece which will intrigue Predators fans: the care taken to detail the mechanics of Jones' partnership with Shea Weber in the defensive zone, and the working relationship which Jones has with assistant coach Phil Housley. Here, Hackel describes the scene following a play against Winnipeg on which Jones was caught flat-footed by Evander Kane, wherein we see how Housley (a former teenaged NHL phenom himself) addressed the situation:
The error caused Housley to break out his iPad between periods and quietly review the play on video with Seth, explaining the better way to do it, adding a visual reminder that Jones has made the right play other times. "I like how he doesn't embarrass you in front of the team," Jones says. "He'll tell you what you need to know and tell you only."
Set aside some time this afternoon (or evening, since the Preds don't play until Wednesday) to read The Education of Seth Jones over at Sports On Earth. It will not only give you a greater appreciation for what this teenager(!) is doing already at the NHL level, but leave you wondering just how high his ceiling might be.