2018-19 Team: Peterborough Petes
Date of Birth: September 21, 2000
Place of Birth: Brantford, ON, Canada
Ht: 6’ 4” Wt: 193 lbs
NHL Draft Eligibility: 2019 first-year eligible
Hunter Jones had an average rookie season backing up Edmonton Oilers prospect Dylan Wells, playing in just 15 games and posting a 5.14 goals-against average (GAA) and an .866 save percentage (SV%). With Wells heading to the AHL, Jones became the starter and ran with it. He played in 57 of the Peterborough Petes’ 68 games this season, with a 3.31 GAA and a .902 SV%.
Related: NHL Draft Guide | 2019 Edition
Last season, the Petes finished second last in the league, winning just 23 games. Jones was a large factor in getting the club back into the playoffs this season, despite seeing the third-most shots against in the league (3,156). He didn’t have a great playoff series though, as the Petes lost the first-round series 4-1 to the Oshawa Generals. Jones had a 4.66 GAA and .862 SV% through the five games.
He proved right at the beginning of the season that he was going to impress, winning the CHL’s Goaltender of the Week title in the first week, going 2-0-0-0 with a 1.50 GAA, a .962 SV% and a shutout. He came into the season as the eighth-ranked goaltender in the CHL. He’s climbed this season to the second-ranked goaltender in North America, behind Spencer Knight of the USA U18 National Development Team Program.
His stellar OHL season earned him the honour of being named a finalist for the Red Tilson Trophy for the league’s most outstanding player of the year.
Other THW Draft Profiles:
Hunter Jones – NHL Draft Projection
Jones will likely be the second or third goaltender taking in the 2019 NHL Draft behind Knight and possibly Pyotr Kochetkov. Dustin Wolf has also been on the rise after this season. As goaltenders aren’t taken as high as skaters, look for Jones to be taken late in the second round or early in the third.
“When this Canadian goalie goes into the splits, he does it quickly and makes it very hard to get the puck past him on the ground. He’s good at settling the puck behind the net and doesn’t try and do too much with it just leaving it most times for his defenseman to retrieve. He follows shooters well and has a glove hand that’s fast and he’s able to snare pucks in a crowd with a long reach. His solid positioning always gives him a chance.” – Russ Cohen, EP Rinkside
“Hunter Jones is a big goalie who takes up a lot of net. He sees the puck very well through traffic, has good reactions and strong rebound control and directs them well to the corners. Jones has shown a great amount of progress this season and has an imposing presence; he has future NHL starter written all over him.” – ISS Director of Scouting Dennis MacInnis
“Brings pro size with very good quickness and athleticism – has the ability to steal games for his team – excellent compete and work habits – very smart tracking pucks through traffic and at reading the cross-ice one-time plays – powerful leg drive with quickness; moves laterally with quickness and control – excellent positional play (top of the crease and square with a solid, well-balanced stance) – plays big in all situations – good quickness and timing when dropping in the butterfly; quick to react and recover – very good glove hand – very good overall rebound control and placement.” – NHL Central Scouting
- Glove hand
- Rebound Control
Under Construction (Improvements to Make)
- Playing the puck
Jones has the makings of a starting goaltender in the NHL. As the same for any goalie though, development time is key. Expect Jones to play another season in the OHL and then a stint in the AHL before making the jump to the NHL.
Risk – 3/5, Reward – 3/5
Fantasy Hockey Potential
Goaltending – 6.5/10
In 2016-17, Jones was named to the OJHL Top All-Prospect Team as well as the OHA Top Goaltender Prospect. He also made Team Canada East for the 2016 World Junior A Hockey Challenge and won silver with Team Canada Black at 2016 U17 World Hockey Championship. in 2018-19, Jones participated in both the Top Prospects Game and the Canada-Russia Series for Team OHL.
Starting out as an Ottawa Senators contributor for The Hockey Writers, Josh is now an editor and at-large contributor, focusing on prospects, the NHL Draft, hockey history, and breaking news stories.