The Portland Winterhawks acquired the rights to defenseman Seth Jones from the Everett Silvertips, and have signed Jones to a contract. Jones will join the team next season.
To complete the trade with Everett to acquire the rights to Jones and sign him, the Winterhawks traded Ben Betker and Tyler Sandhu along with the rights to Mitch Skapski and Reece Willcox to the Silvertips. Previously, the Hawks had sent a conditional draft pick to Everett for the right to talk to Jones.
“Seth is a world-class player with the ability to come in and make an immediate impact next season,” said Portland Winterhawks General Manager & Head Coach Mike Johnston. “He combines tremendous offensive instincts with the ability to be a shut-down defenseman in his own end. This is a very big signing for us, and we’re thrilled he’s chosen to continue his career with the Winterhawks and the Western Hockey League.”
“I’m thrilled to be joining the Winterhawks and the Western Hockey League,” said Jones. “When the organization hosted me last weekend I knew right away this was where I wanted to be. I’ve heard nothing but good things about the Winterhawks and the WHL, and I can’t wait to get started there. And of course, I want to wish the team luck in the championship series against Edmonton.”
Jones, 6’3”, 201 pounds, is considered one of the best players in the U.S. in his age group, and is rated as a top prospect for the 2013 NHL Draft. He played this season for the U.S. National Team Development Program’s Under-18 team, and won a gold medal with the U.S. team last month at the U-18 World Championship in the Czech Republic.
Jones was dominant during the tournament, registering three goals and five assists for eight points in six games, placing second in scoring both on his team and among all defensemen. He also played in the tournament last year as a 16-year-old, registering three assists en route to a gold medal.
With the U.S. National Team Development Program, Jones posted six goals and 20 assists for 26 points in 48 games.
Jones, a native of Plano, Texas, was drafted by Everett in the first round of the 2009 WHL Bantam Draft, 11th overall.
Jones is the son of former NBA player Ronald “Popeye” Jones. The elder Jones played 535 games over 11 seasons with Dallas, Toronto, Boston, Denver, Washington and Golden State, averaging 7.0 points and 7.4 rebounds during his career. He is currently an assistant coach with the Brooklyn Nets.