Kukla's Korner Hockey
by Paul on 10/03/13 at 02:07 PM ET
from Katie Baker of Grantland,
The Nashville Predators are notoriously methodical about player development, particularly on defense. It's assumed that would-be Predators will first spend significant time with the team's AHL affiliate, the Milwaukee Admirals. In the franchise's history, only one player, Scott Hartnell, made the roster in his draft year.
Until now. As if that pressure weren't enough, Jones will also face an additional challenge: playing on his non-dominant side. With a glut of right-handed defensemen on the team, the Predators asked a few of the younger players to work on transitioning to the left during the summer and the preseason. Jones was one. (Although it looks like he might not play on that side tonight.) "I told Ryan [Ellis] and Seth both that if they want to move up in the lineup, a lot of times you might have to do it on the left side," Trotz said. "I think it's easier to get them to do it at a young age. Plus, it helps their mobility, it helps their hands and all that. I did that rather than having, as I call them, the old dogs try to change."
Everyone seems high on Jones right now, but fans are fickle. If Nashville's offensive struggles from last season persist, many will wonder loudly why the Predators didn't draft a scoring forward.
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