The Hockey Writers Nashville Predators staff writer Colin Fitts will evaluate the performance of each player on the 2014-15 Predators roster every weekday in alphabetical order. You can follow Colin on Twitter, @FittsTHW.
Height/Weight: 6-foot-4, 205 lbs
Stat Line: 82 GP, 8 G, 19 A, 27 PTS, +3 +/-, 20 PIM, 72 hits, 90 blocked shots, 19:52 AVG TOI
Playoffs Stat Line: 6 GP, 0 G, 4 A, 4 PTS, -6 +/-, 6 PIM, 15 hits, 8 blocked shots, 28:02 AVG TOI
*Points at Home vs Away: Home – 5 G, 12 A | Away – 3 G, 8 A
*Giveaway/Takeaway Correlation: 46 giveaways, 42 takeaways
Contract Status: 1 year remaining on 3-year, $9.675 million entry-level contract ($925,000 cap hit in 2014-15)
Highlight of the Year: Seth Jones did not score his first goal of the year until December 22, but once he finally ended the scoring drought, it was beautiful. The late third period tally helped Nashville defeat the Columbus Blue Jackets 5-1.
Strengths: Jones undoubtedly looked more comfortable on both sides of the puck under head coach Peter Laviolette’s system. Allowing Jones, an excellent puck mover, to carry the puck coast-to-coast, he generated a lot of offense for the Predators last season. Also, he played consistent minutes in power play and shorthanded situations. Last season, he was the only defenseman to play all 82 games. He possesses a deadly shot from the perimeter scoring areas.
Weaknesses: Classified as an offensive defenseman with the Portland Winterhawks in the WHL, Jones is still transitioning to the more defensive side of the game at the NHL level. Defensively, he was better last season than in 2013-14 when he had a -23 rating. The good news is that he is improving.
What to Expect Next Season: Jones’ contract is up next summer, and he is going to want a pay raise. To get that pay raise, he will be expected to hit a new level as he enters his third career NHL season. If the trend continues and Jones improves, Nashville will have a superb defense core including him, Shea Weber and Roman Josi.
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Colin Fitts is a Nashville Predators staff writer and is a credentialed media member of the Chicago Wolves. From Nashville, Tennessee, Colin majors in journalism and public relations at Columbia College Chicago. Follow him on Twitter, @FittsTHW. Email: 22fitts [at] gmail [dot] com.