Seth Jones spoke to the media Sunday about the Nashville Predators and falling to the fourth pick in the 2013 NHL Draft.
Q. For most of the year you were No. 1. For most of the week you were No. 2. Today you slide to No. 4. Is there any disappointment in that for you?
SETH JONES: Not really. I’d be lying if I said I wasn’t thinking about going to those teams, but at the same time I’m excited to be a Predator, and obviously Shea Weber is there. He’s a great player, and they have a lot of other great players, and I’m happy to be a part of the organization.
Q. Are you aware of the teams and their needs? Did they explain to you going No. 4?
SETH JONES: I am aware of the needs of the team, but this is where I ended up, so I’m extremely happy, and I’m not going to complain.
Q. You met with Florida on Saturday?
SETH JONES: Yeah.
Q. Was there any indication that maybe you weren’t going to be picked?
SETH JONES: Not really. It was kind of just another general meeting. It was pretty similar to when I met with them at the Combine. They just asked me a couple hockey questions, not too deep. They weren’t soul searching. They didn’t really give me any hints.
Q. What do you know about the Predators in general and what did they say to you in the brief meeting you had with them?
SETH JONES: I didn’t really have a meeting with them, but I know they have a pretty good D, Shea Weber, like I said, back there, and Mike Fisher. I think you guys just got Forsberg, traded for him, I believe. So I think there’s a lot of potential there, so hopefully I can come in and help the team next year.
Q. What do you think about the prospects of playing with a guy like Weber?
SETH JONES: Unbelievable. He’s one of the top defensemen in the League and he’s been that way for so many years, and I think he’s very experienced and he can help a guy like me, especially being so young, come in and really help the team.
Q. Does a situation like this make you want to prove the people who didn’t pick you one, two or three wrong?
SETH JONES: Yeah, well, I’m competitive. I have a competitive nature and I get that from my parents. Yeah, you definitely want to prove them wrong and you definitely want to show them why they should have picked you. That’s not my only goal next year, but it’s definitely on my list.
Q. Do you know Shea Weber at all? Have you ever corresponded with him?
SETH JONES: I have not. I’ve never talked to him.
Q. What do you envision for yourself next year? As you said, you can help the team out next year. What do you think you’ll be able to do?
SETH JONES: Well, I think I can be a solid defenseman, produce a little bit offensively, as well. I know people say it takes time for defensemen to really grow in the League, a couple years at least, so hopefully I can prove that theory wrong.
Q. Was it difficult waiting for this? I imagine you’re glad it’s over?
SETH JONES: Yeah, I am extremely glad it’s over. This has been a long time coming, and it seems like the last couple years have just been dragged on and dragged on, and then when I got here it seems like it’s dragged on. I got here Wednesday night, so tried to keep myself busy.
Q. Now that it is over, do you have any idea of what you’re getting yourself into, becoming a professional hockey player?
SETH JONES: A little bit. I mean, just growing up watching, and my dad was a professional athlete, not in hockey, but he knows about the travel and the schedule and stuff like that. I do a little bit, but I think you can’t really say you do until you’ve played there.
Q. Have you gone to him for any advice about just being a professional athlete and sort of just the travels and everything, little things that go into it?
SETH JONES: Yeah, well, he gives me advice all the time. It’s always good advice, and it’s always just little stuff. It doesn’t have to be something big. It’s just something little that he throws out there every once in a while about being a pro.
Q. In your meetings with the Predators did you get a sense from them? Did they think you’d be available?
SETH JONES: I don’t think they did. I really don’t think they did. In the meeting, I mean, it was, again, general. Didn’t really give me hints or clues about anything.
Q. Do you have any thoughts on (inaudible)?
SETH JONES: Well, I couldn’t go there next year. I would have to go back to Portland, but hopefully that’s not the case.
Q. With the realignment in Nashville and obviously being from Dallas you’re going to have an opportunity to play in front of your hometown. Is that anything you’ve considered?
SETH JONES: Not really. I haven’t thought about that at all.
SETH JONES: Well, I was obviously prepared from what they’ve said the past couple days or past week, but anything could have happened. They could have traded it to someone. I mean, you can’t — you don’t know where you’re going until you hear your name or don’t hear your name. It’s just a waiting game until your name is called.
Q. Did it matter to you where you were drafted?
SETH JONES: Not really, whether I was first, fourth here in Nashville, or second round, I’d still try to go in and make the team.
Q. How frustrating is it to have the expectations of one obviously but not have any control of the situation? How tough is that on a player?
SETH JONES: It is tough to not have any control, and you feel like you didn’t do all that you could during the season. But I don’t think that’s the case here. I thought I had a pretty good season as a rookie in the WHL and I had a pretty good Memorial Cup, but you’ve got to give it to those forwards. They have had a good season, as well.
Q. Have you talked to Brendan Leipsic? He’s also a Predators prospect.
SETH JONES: I have not talked to him yet. I haven’t got a chance to get to my phone.
Q. The whole storyline about you as a little kid watching the Avalanche lift the Cup and Joe Sakic lift the Cup, it was being referred to as a fairy story. Is there disappointment that that somehow didn’t pan out?
SETH JONES: Yeah, it definitely sounded too good to be true. It turned out that way. But not really. I mean, I’m not unhappy that they didn’t choose me. It was their decision, and that’s what they thought would be best for their organization. You’ve got to respect that.
Q. What did the Winterhawks do for your development?
SETH JONES: A lot. I give full credit to them for a lot that’s obviously panned out over the past year. I played with a lot of great players there and a lot of veterans really took me in and helped me throughout the way and the coaching staff did a great job, as well. I’m very happy that I played for them, and I wouldn’t have done it anyway else.
Q. Do you know Phil Housley and have you worked with him?
SETH JONES: I do know Phil. He was my coach at World Juniors, and I loved the way he coached. He was just great all around. When he needed to be rowdy, he was. When he needed to calm down a little bit, he did that. He was perfect for us, or for me.
Q. In talking to your coaches about your season last year and talking about the development as you kind of walk into camp in a few weeks, they said the skating is always going to be there as you start to develop your skills. Where is your skill set now in terms of Xs and Os?
SETH JONES: To play in the League, the NHL next year? I think I have the potential to play in the NHL next year, but nothing is guaranteed in this line of work, and you’ve got to earn where you play. I’m going to go into camp and try to earn a spot.
Q. Are you surprised (inaudible)?
SETH JONES: I mean, not really. Yes and no, a little bit. You know, it’s a business how it works, and that’s what they thought they needed to win. You know, that’s what they went with. Like I said, same with Colorado; you’ve got to respect their decision, you’ve got to respect Tampa’s decision and Colorado’s.
Q. At the end of the day this is really about the organization, right?
SETH JONES: What do you mean?
Q. Well, it’s really about the sweater you’re wearing, not the number?
SETH JONES: Yeah, a lot of organizations nowadays are really good. Wherever you get drafted you’re going to be happy with it, and personally I’m extremely happy with where I’m at.
SETH JONES: Yeah, for sure. They have a lot of good defensemen in the past and still do, so I’m excited to go in and learn from guys like Weber to help better myself.
SETH JONES: Helped me a ton. I went there to develop on and off the ice, and we’d work out really hard there, and I came out of there weighing 20, 25 pounds heavier after two years. That was my main goal when I went there, and it happened, and that definitely played a huge part in my career. I’m very thankful that I went there.
Q. Do you think you can make the team in September?
SETH JONES: I hope so. I’m going to do whatever I can to make it, but that’s ultimately up to the coaches and staff.
Q. A little bit up to you, too.
SETH JONES: Yeah, hopefully I can make it, yeah. That’s my goal. That’s what I’m going to work after this summer starting this week when I get back home. Obviously I have the development camp in Nashville, but then you’ve got to earn your spot.
SETH JONES: You know, I knew I was going to go to a good place. You don’t need to go first overall or high to have a good career. I knew that coming in, so I wasn’t too worried.
Q. What was the feeling when you finally did hear your name called?
SETH JONES: Excitement. I felt like after the first three, I felt like it was never going to come, and the three minutes kept getting longer and longer. But I’m happy now and wouldn’t have it any other way.
Q. Do you think you could have a big impact on kids playing in Nashville? You played in Texas, and Nashville has been growing now for a while but still can grow.
SETH JONES: Yeah, I do. I’m not going to put all that weight on my shoulders specifically. I think the organization has done a good job of doing that. If that means me going in there and helping that and being a role model to young kids, then that’s what it is.
Q. What do you know about country music?
SETH JONES: A lot, actually. I love country to be honest. I listen to it a lot, actually.
Q. We know about learning how to skate in Colorado and falling in love with the game. When did you fall in love with the position of defenseman?
SETH JONES: I’ve always played D. I don’t know why. I liked it a little better than forward. I think you can see and read the play a little bit more. It’s not always go, go, go, kind of like a forward. But yeah, I kind of like seeing the play develop in a defense sense.
Q. Talk about how the experience at World Juniors has helped you grow as a player and being in the spotlight.
SETH JONES: Well, I played with a lot of good players there. It was a phenomenal tournament. We didn’t get off to a great start, but we finished strong. You have a lot of NHL prospects that I played with and against, so it’s good to do that and really challenge yourself, and that’s exactly what happened there. Myself and the whole team had to play great to win that tournament, and we did.
Q. How important was it for you (inaudible)?
SETH JONES: Very important. I give a lot of credit to them, if not full. My mom did a lot. My dad was on the road when I was younger playing basketball, and she took me to all the early-morning practices, dropped me off at school. I mean, there was me and my two other brothers were also starting to play, so she had a lot on her plate, and I’m glad that she did that for us, and also my dad. I know he wasn’t really there too much just because he was on the road a lot and now he’s coaching, so I didn’t get to see him too often, but when I did, it’s obviously good to see him and catch up.
Q. Can you talk about how you decided to play hockey rather than maybe basketball?
SETH JONES: A lot of you have probably heard the story by now. I lived in Colorado and saw the Stanley Cup in 2001 when I was there. I knew I wanted to be a hockey player from there when I saw Forsberg, Bourque, guys like that lift it.
SETH JONES: I don’t know, I just loved hockey. I played lacrosse for about a year or two, and that’s because I had a friend who played, and so I joined the team. But other than that I never played anything else. I’ve always been pretty focused on hockey.
Q. For the Predator fans that haven’t seen you on the ice, when they do see you what kind of game are you going to bring?
SETH JONES: Solid game, solid defensively, and I’m able to transition the puck to the forwards quickly as well as jump in the play and maybe create some offense.
Q. Can you characterize your thoughts now, excited more than disappointed?
SETH JONES: For sure. Excited to hear the name called. It was obviously exciting to share with my family, as well.
Q. You must be happy to have this whole process over with.
SETH JONES: Uh-huh. This has been dragging along for quite some time now, and I got here Wednesday night and had to really occupy my time to not think about this. The nerves were pretty high this morning, but they kind of calmed down since I’ve been here.
SETH JONES: I listen to a lot of country and rap, a lot of hip-hop and country. Before the games? Probably more hip-hop than country. I listen to some, though.
Q. In talking to Coach Johnston and Coach Green about last year and talking about your leadership role and how you were more of an example, you’re not going to run in the locker room and start screaming out, I think it might be something your father brought out of you, would that be an accurate description?
SETH JONES: Yeah, I think so. I think I’m vocal when I need to be, but I think you can lead by example most of the time, not just the way you play hockey but your demeanor and your character.
Source: NHL Media