Well, so much for the Tips bringing in a superstar defenseman for next season. Today the Tips dealt the negotiating rights to defenseman Seth Jones to the Portland Winterhawks for a conditional bantam draft pick. Jones, the 11th-overall pick in the 2009 bantam draft, spent the previous two seasons playing for the U.S. NTDP and will be entering both his 18-year-old season and his NHL draft season, where he’s expected to be a top-five pick.
After talking with Everett GM Garry Davidson, here’s how this breaks down:
– Jones’ representative said Jones had no interest in playing for Everett. Davidson said the representative did not really provide a reason.
– Jones’ rights remain with Everett. This deal just gives Portland a window to talk with Jones to try to convince him to choose the Western Hockey League instead of the NCAA. Davidson declined to reveal either the conditions of the bantam pick or the length of the window. If the Winterhawks are able to convince Jones, then another deal will have to be worked out to move Jones’ rights.
So this is disappointing news for the Tips. They may end up recouping something for Jones, a first-round pick who might have been a no-show. However, I’m sure they would much rather have had Jones in an Everett uniform. One has to wonder what effect the dismissal of former GM Doug Soetaert, who spent lots of time courting Jones and his family, played in this.
And now the future of Ryan Murray becomes that much more crucial to Everett’s fate for next season.