Golden Knights Top Prospect Rankings: #7 Ben Jones

Golden Knights Top Prospect Rankings: #7 Ben Jones

 

Ben Jones a.k.a. “Benjamin Jones”

Niagara IceDogs / OHL – 18/19

Date of Birth: Feb 26, 1999

Age: 19

Place of Birth: Waterloo, ON, CAN

Position: Center

Height: 6’0″

Weight: 187 lbs / 85 kg

Shoots: L

Contract: Entry Level Contract (3 years)

Drafted: 2017 round 7 #189 overall by Vegas Golden Knights

2017-18 Stats:
Niagara IceDogs (OHL), Assistant Captain

68 Games, 30 Goals, 49 Assists, 79 Points, +/- = +8

According to TSN, a player picked 189th in the NHL draft has just a 9.4% chance of playing 100 NHL games, and a meager 1.9% chance of being a top-6 forward or top-4 defenseman. Ben Jones may already be defying the odds. While Jones remains unlikely to be a top-6 forward, the likelihood that he becomes an NHL regular is growing by the game.

Despite being just 18, Jones was names as an assistant captain of the Niagra Ice dogs and is the odd-on favorite to captain the team as early as next year. Jones is a solid all-around player who can beat his peers with above-averaging skating, shooting, stick-handling, physicality, and vision. Perhaps most importantly, he has the unique ability to simply take over a game. In the 2017/18 regular season he had 10 separate games in which he scored 3 points or more, and even had a 5 assist game. In the 2018 OHL coaches’ poll, Jones was rated the best penalty killer surprising, considering that Jones played most of his minor hockey as a defenseman. As Jones has become more accustomed to driving play, his production has skyrocketed. Jones finished his season as the fifth highest scorer in his league among players in their draft+1 year.

His low profile has given Jones the same brand of Golden Misfit drive we’ve come to love in this City. In a recent interview he made that clear:

“I knew that I had to turn some heads and prove some people wrong – which ended up helping me in the end. It forced me to work even harder than I had before, and I was more motivated than any other season…Not knowing when I was going to be picked, or if I was going to be picked at all was very difficult to sit through… That moment, being selected by Vegas, was pretty indescribable. It felt like all the hard work had finally paid off. However, it actually meant that all the hard work was just beginning… I knew that Vegas would be watching me throughout the year, and this season was almost even more important than the season prior. Being drafted is just the beginning step. The next step is earning a contract, and that is why I knew I had to have a big year.”

And that’s exactly what he did. Vegas rewarded Jones with a 3-year ELC in June, making him the fifth prospect from his class to get a contract. Jones will continue to improve his game in the OHL next year, and will likely make the jump to the AHL in the 2019/20 season. Jones models his game after Jonathan Toews, and aims to be a prototypical two-way center that can be effective in every zone. As a player like Pierre-Edouard Bellemare reaches the end of his career with the Golden Knights, Jones may be ready to step into his role. If Jones can make an impact for the Knights, he’ll be among the best 7th round picks in recent memory.

Vegas’ Full Prospect Rankings:

#1 Cody Glass

#2 Nick Suzuki

#3 Erik Brannstrom

#4 Nic Hague

#5 Lucas Elvenes

#6 Maxim Zhukov

#7 Ben Jones

#8 Zach Whitecloud

#9 Jake Leschyshyn

#10 Jack Dugan

#11 Dylan Coghlan

#12 Jonas Rondbjerg

Game Calendar

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