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 NHL.com. “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,

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