In an article from last week, I discussed the importance of Seth Jones, Caleb Jones, and Sam Lafferty playing for Team USA in the IIHF World Championship. It was focused on opportunities for continued development for Caleb Jones and Lafferty with an opportunity to hone leadership skills for Seth Jones. Turns out, those were truer words than even I expected. On Monday, May 9th, Seth Jones was named to be the captain for Team USA. So what does this mean?
I think Jones is a top notch player. I think he was worth the Blackhawks pursuing, though not the price they paid. I think he had a down first year with the Blackhawks, but he is set to rebound majorly next year. Jones is set to be "the guy" of the future (at least on defense). In a rebuild, having a confident, talented, veteran voice present will be paramount in helping any young players acquired to succeed. I think Seth Jones is actually the most important piece on the Blackhawks as they enter a rebuild. His leadership will be key.
Seth Jones, now with the role of captain, will begin to experience just the extent of the impact he can have on a team. Of course this will look different. This is not the Blackhawks. It's a roster of only US players. However, one great similarity is there: Team USA is full of young, raw players. Players who need leadership and guidance. Seth Jones will finally be able to get that experience that will be critical to his role on the Blackhawks moving forward. What's most exciting is that now it isn't just the Blackhawks who see the leadership potential in Seth Jones. Now all of America, or those who watch the IIHF World Championships, at least, will get to see those qualities on display as well.