Seth Jones will be hitting the ice in Nashville for the first time since the Predators traded him to the Columbus Blue Jackets earlier this year.
Jones spent the first two and half years of his NHL career with the Preds and he’s excited to be going back to his old stomping grounds.
“It’s going to be exciting,” Jones said, per The Dispatch. “I’m looking forward to it. I was there two years, and it’s the team that drafted me. So it’ll be a special game, for sure.
“I enjoyed the whole experience I had there. I had an opportunity to play at a young age, and I had an opportunity to learn from veteran defensemen. I learned a lot while I was there.”
The 21-year-old has not only seen his offensive production increase since his move to Columbus, but he’s also seen his role change quite a bit. In Nashville, he played over 20 minutes a night in 14 of 40 games this season and averaged 19:39 of ice time. In Columbus, he hasn’t played less than 21:16 in a game. He’s averaging 24:28 under head coach John Tortorella.
“We’ve put him in a totally different position than he was in Nashville,” coach John Tortorella said. “I think he has handled himself very well.”
Jones made some strides during his time with the Predators. He was able to develop at a slower pace because he had talented defenseman like Shea Weber and Roman Josi going up against the opposition’s top lines. That may have been a good approach for him early in his career, but now he’s ready to accelerate his development.
“I think I was developing well in Nashville,” Jones said, per the Tennessean. “At the same time, obviously everyone wants to develop as fast as they possibly can, and I’m the same way. So I think here I can develop a little bit quicker.
“(It’s different) watching someone play the minutes. You have to learn from experience, I think.”