Potential (alleged) hangovers aside, the Oilers brass got some housekeeping done today as they signed Caleb Jones to a three year entry level contract.
Caleb Jones was drafted by the Oilers back in the fourth round in the summer of 2015. Do you remember that summer? Living in the fresh McDavid glow? Ahhhhh… What a time to be alive. Anyway. Despite the fact that most of us were nursing hangovers throughout the entirety of the second-seventh rounds of the 2015 NHL draft the Oilers were back at work, choosing Caleb Jones with the 117th overall pick.
Caleb Jones may not have the flash or draft pedigree of his older brother Seth, but this is still an Oilers prospect to keep our eyes on. Since bailing from the USHL program to play more games in the WHL, Caleb Jones has made some impressive strides in his draft+1 season. He had a solid year for the Portland Winterhawks on both ends of the ice (winning the team’s rookie of the year award), and I wonder if his fresh deal with the Oilers will land him with the Condors to ride out their season. Surely, you would think that getting his feet wet in the AHL would give Jones an idea of what he could be up against come fall.
Is Caleb Jones a guy that will make the Oilers anytime soon? Not likely, but that doesn’t mean that he may not be an important part of the future. The Oilers, obviously, feel like Jones is worth the risk of signing and now we’ll have to wait and see how he moves forward. Caleb Jones has already followed his older brother’s path by going from the USHL to the Portland Winterhawks, and Oilers fans can only hope that the trend will continue by giving the organization a serviceable defenseman in the future.
He may not be Seth, but you may not want to overlook Caleb Jones.
Is He Any Good?
- Bruce McCurdy at Cult of Hockey, Last Summer: Caleb Jones (D) is another is at his first pro camp, and it’s a measure of success that it doesn’t really show. He’s held his own, hasn’t stood out.
- Lowetide: I’d say (based on what we’re told Caleb Jones is a young man who is developing rapidly as we speak, with at least two more years of real development to go. When things like emerging, developing talent and great strides year over year are mentioned, it’s a positive arrow. He sounds like a two-way blue who will earn his keep (mostly) without the puck. His improved quickness and speed, as noted by ISS, is probably what got him drafted by Edmonton.
- Hockey’s Future: Teamed at times with Nashville prospect Jack Dougherty on the top defense pairing, he has shown some offensive flashes in his first season with the Winterhawks to go along with his physical game. Not as highly-regarded as his older brother, Jones projects as a solid middle pairing two-way defenseman.
- Elite Prospects: A versatile two-way defenseman that can fill many different roles and team needs in certain situations due to his workmanlike approach to his position. Possesses a tireless motor and is aggressive on the blue-line. Physicality and board battles are the anchors that hold his game together. Works hard in all situations and is a step ahead in problem solving. Exhibits good mobility, a quick, accurate shot from the point, and an active stick. All-in-all, a heads-up defenseman who plays a solid, smart all-around game.
- Winterhawks Assistant GM Matt Bardsley: “As an organization, we are excited for Caleb and his family that he has signed his first NHL contract with Edmonton. In his first season in Portland, Caleb had the ability to impact the game by using his skating ability to lead or join the rush as well as defend against the rush. He has a great passion for the game and we are happy to see that he was rewarded with a contract from the Oilers organization.”