Happy Birthday: Jones turns 19, makes Preds/NHL debut

Thursday night will be a special one for Seth Jones.

Jones, Nashville’s first-round pick (fourth overall) at the 2013 NHL Entry Draft, will make his professional debut and celebrate his 19th birthday as the Preds take on the Blues in St. Louis.

“It’s obviously a great thing that I’m here,” Jones told “I’m looking to move forward every day, and it starts today.

“I know [the NHL] is going to be very intense. I got a taste in preseason and I know it’s coming a little bit. You don’t really know until you get out there.”

The 6-foot-4, 205-pound rearguard is one of just a handful of ’13 draftees starting the year in the NHL (others include Colorado’s Nathan MacKinnon, Florida’s Aleksander Barkov, Carolina’s Elias Lindholm, Calgary’s Sean Monahan, Buffalos’ Rasmus Ristolainen and Dallas’ Valeri Nichushkin).

But whereas others might get just a nine-game audition, Jones appears primed to spend the full year in Nashville.

“Unless we make some deals or something like that, I think he’s here for good,” head coach Barry Trotz told The Tennessean. “I think that’s our commitment. He’s proven that at this point in time. I don’t see him going anywhere.”

Tonight, it appears Jones will pair with Mattias Ekholm on the Preds blueline,

Memorial Cup champion goalie Appleby signs with Devils

Ken Appleby
The Canadian Press via AP
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Ken Appleby never got drafted, but his efforts during the New Jersey Devils’ training camp have earned him an entry-level contract, per the Bergen Record.

Although no team saw it fit to take him before the preseason, the 20-year-old is coming off of a very strong season. He had a 2.08 GAA and .924 save percentage in 50 games with the OHL’s Oshawa Generals. He went on to lead them to a Memorial Cup championship and earned the the Hap Emms Memorial Trophy as the tournament’s top goalie.

Appleby is the fifth goaltender the Devils have under contract after Cory Schneider, Keith Kinkaid, Scott Wedgewood, and Yann Danis. He’ll likely begin the season in the ECHL.

Alexandre Goulet and Jacob Sweeney also participated in the Devils’ training camp on an amateur tryout basis, but both of them have been released.

PHT Morning Skate: NHL stars weigh in on McDavid

Connor McDavid
The Canadian Press via AP
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PHT’s Morning Skate takes a look around the world of hockey to see what’s happening and what we’ll be talking about around the NHL world and beyond.

Some of the NHL’s top players discuss Connor McDavid‘s potential and the hype surrounding him. (Toronto Sun)

While we’re on the subject, Wayne Gretzky recalls what it was like for him going into the NHL and what’s in store for McDavid. (Edmonton Sun)

Sam Gagner is about to start a key season in his career. (Philadelphia Inquirer)

It’s time for the Washington Capitals to make some tough calls, particularly when it comes to Derek Roy. (CSN Mid-Atlantic)

With Raffi Torres hearing scheduled for today, here’s a look back at his suspension history. (San Jose Mercury News)

The Chicago Blackhawks have gotten their championship rings. (