If the NHL season ended today the Edmonton Oilers would be selecting 6th overall. A sobering image when presented isn’t it. This was supposed to be a year of progression and yet the team is showing no signs of improvement in the standings.
I guess we shouldn’t be so hard on the team as there was some serious overhaul this past off season but with that said I’d like to take a look at prospect that the Oilers might have interest in coming the draft. His name is Max Jones and he plays for the OHL’s London Knights.
He is ranked #3 by ISS, #7 by Future Considerations, #5 by Hockey Prospect, #47 by Craig Button, and #10 by Bob McKenzie.
Check out this clip of him from one of my favorite NHL prospect channels on Youtube, Bigwhite06.
The Scouting Report
Name: Max Jones
Position: LW (Shoots left)
Born: Feb 17 1998 Rochester, MI, USA
“A “throwback” player in every sense of the word, Max Jones is a highly competitive, sharp shooting winger with the physical gifts to dominate as a trigger man. His pro-level shot features blazing quickness, combining rare timing on his release and pin-point accuracy, that snaps twine before goaltenders can even begin to react. He utilizes a wide powerful skating stride to burst out wide before cutting inside to unleash one of his lethal shots. Jones displays solid skill in possession with precise passing abilities and an ability to dangle when needed but he definitely projects as a shoot-first type of player. He’s extremely hungry for loose pucks and uses his size and strength advantages to gather up possession quickly.” – Brendan Ross (McKeen’s Hockey)
“An aggressive winger with a blast of a shot, Jones is the best prototypical two-way forward heading into the draft, with the ability to knock you out before scoring an incredible goal. Jones’ calmness with the puck makes him a tough player to play against, making plays seconds before you would expect him too.” – Steven Ellis (Penalty Box Radio)
“Combining speed and power along with a very good skill level, he becomes a very challenging player to play against. He uses all of the elements to his advantage and has a determination in his game that forces opponents out of their comfort zone.” – Craig Button of TSN
HockeyProspect.com has an audio clip online here speaking to Max Jones’ early season performances for the London Knights.
So from all accounts he seems to be a physical, in your face, power forward. In that interview above one of the things mentioned was his lack of a high-end hockey IQ. This was in a conversation where he was compared to Matthew Tkachuk but Jones was also said to be very good away from the puck as well. So take it for what you will.
I for one am dying to see the Oilers develop a “throwback” player to play alongside Hall, Nuge, Eberle, McDavid, and Yakupov. The other teams in the Pacific Division aren’t holding back. Take a look at some of the players recently drafted by the Oilers’ rivals:
- Anaheim – Nick Ritchie: This kid is a locomotive who LOVES destroying anyone who opposes him.
- Vancouver – Jake Virtanen: You seen what he did to McDavid in the preseason. That’s his M.O.
- Calgary – Michael Ferland: Hits hits hits and hits some more. Very Physical player.
- Arizona – Nick Merkley: Not a big guy but very edgy!
- San Jose – Timo Meier: A very heavy player who’s not afraid to play a physical game if need be.
- Los Angeles – Adrian Kempe: Had 42 PIMs in the Swedish league… They bodycheck there right?
The one thing not being talked about here is the abundance of high end forwards in the Oilers pipeline already. I mean most of them are playing on the Oilers right now apart from Leon Draisaitl and what happens to the squad once he’s ready to go? Who’s the odd man out? Pouliot? One has to think that LD would fit right in alongside McDavid and Yakupov but is that the best place for him?
He’s a natural center and as fun as it would be to see him line up with ConYak, I think the Oilers will have to make a choice at some point. Is it Draisaitl or Nugent-Hopkins? Or will his top-end be that of a no.3 center for the Oilers akin to the Crosby-Malkin-Staal trio that won the Cup with Pittsburgh?
But that’s a debate for another day.
If any of the readers are located in London or a city with an OHL team and has seen Max Jones play this year, please let us know in the comments section what your opinion is of him. Do you think he’d be a good fit for the Edmonton Oilers pipeline? Would this be a young man we could see take over for Benoit Pouliot in 3-4 years? Or is he another Tyler Pitlick destined for a career maligned by injury and uncertainty?
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