Whatever happened to… Ryan Jones
Photo credit:Perry Nelson
19 days ago
The good times are back in Edmonton with plenty of wins throughout the regular season and long playoff runs expected on a yearly basis. However, we all know it hasn’t been that way for long. For many of us, the Decade of Darkness still lingers in the back of our minds despite how promising the future looks, and that made me think about one of our former heroes and what happened since he left Edmonton.
During that decade-long playoff drought, many players came and went for the Edmonton Oilers with few leaving much of a mark on the organization outside of being merely a placeholder. Only a handful of those players left a positive impact and gave the fans a little something to celebrate, and one of those players was Ryan Jones.
From 2009 to 2013, Jones played 247 games for the Oilers and became a fan favourite thanks to his workman-like willingness to grind and his long flowing hair. When he first arrived, Jones had only played a couple of seasons of professional hockey before the Oilers claimed him off waivers. In those days, if you were a young and promising player who was available for free, the reality was that you were more than likely going to play in the Copper and Blue.
His first two seasons in Edmonton went wonderfully for Jones, playing in 160 games and scoring 35 goals and 58 points. On December 2nd, 2011, Jones scored his first career hat trick in a 6-3 win over the Columbus Blue Jackets, with all three goals coming in the third period. It was the kind of night that can cement a player in the minds of Oilers fans forever, and the fact that it was Ryan Jones made it even more special.
Unfortunately, in his last couple of seasons, Jones wasn’t able to hit those same heights. Over those two seasons, Jones played in only 79 games and found the back of the night four times, which was a far cry from what he achieved the two seasons prior. After becoming a free agent, Jones played in a handful of games with the Utica Comets, the Vancouver Canucks farm team, on a professional tryout before eventually taking his talents overseas.
Once he got over there, Jones spent his final years of professional hockey in the DEL with Kolner Hale. In fact, you may even remember seeing him on the ice when the Oilers played an exhibition game in Germany a few years back. Jones spent five years in the DEL playing in 224 games scoring 67 goals and 126 points, while posting three straight 15+ goal seasons. Jones called it a day on his professional hockey career in 2019.
In an article from CKSN in 2019, Jones had this to say about his career:
“It’s far from the most important chapter of my life. I have two kids; they’re significantly more important. Obviously, hockey has been a big part of my life for a long time. It’s been able to provide for me, and I’ve been fortunate enough to have the game that I love as a job. The next chapter of my life is ahead of me. I’ll take some time to figure that out, but hopefully, I’ll have as much success in the next chapter as this one.”
By no means was Ryan Jones a perfect play during his time in Edmonton; however, he gave fans a little something different to celebrate during a brutal period. After going 111th overall in 2004 to the Minnesota Wild, Jones finished his hockey career with 611 professional games played, split between the NHL, AHL, and DEL.
Hopefully, we can see Jonesy around Rogers Place sometime soon. The guy was always a fan favourite and it would be great to see him back in the city to be a part of the franchise that he once called home.
JONES’ PRO CAREER
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