Chicago Blackhawks Player Grades: Seth Jones finished strong to salvage his season

Kamil Krzaczynski-USA TODAY Sports

There might not be a more polarizing player on the Chicago Blackhawks' roster than Seth Jones.

Previous management gave up three high draft picks and a boatload of cash to get Jones in the summer of 2021. He was paid like a Norris Trophy winner despite probably being a high-end second-pair blue liner.

Having the highest cap number and production that does not always live up to being a top defenseman, that has earned him the scorn from a portion of the Blackhawks' fanbase.

Jones' tenure so far with the Hawks has not been terrible like some believe.

He had a career-high 46 assists in 2021-22. He scored 12 goals and dished out 25 assists last season.

Jones can sometimes look like he would rather be any place else but on the ice for the Blackhawks. In addition, there are high expectations that come with being the team's highest-paid player. Especially for a fanbase that has been scarred by a decade of always being cap crunches.

Maybe the frustrated attitude comes because Jones never signed up for a rebuild. Another reason why Hawks fans get picky with him as the previous leadership should have committed to a long-term rebuild instead of a quick fix.

Jones got off to a terrible start this season.

There is no way of sugarcoating it. Seth was bad over the first three months of the season. At least on the offensive side.

He did not score his first goal until January 19th. He had just 11 assists through the season's first three months. That was well below his typical production. He also missed some time in December with an injury when the defensive unit got ravaged by them.

Part of the reason Jones could not help out in scoring goals was he could not cheat up as much to begin the season with some of the youth the Hawks had out there in Alex Vlasic and Kevin Korchinski. Then injuries eroded the talent before he went down himself.

Jones scored some goals and added assists to end the season.

He scored eight goals on the season with all of them coming in 2024 as he started to shoot more. He also added 12 more assists to finish the season.

His production was just three points better than his 2020-21 season which was his final year with Columbus. That was another reason Hawks fans were so frustrated that the previous leadership regime gave him all the money as he only played in 56 games that season and did not produce enough to live up to a $9.5 million annual average value.

Jones did skate in 67 games. His best game was on March 10th against Arizona when he registered four assists.

Defensively, Jones was trusted to log the fourth most ice time in the NHL with an average of 25:29. Alex Vlasic emerged as a legit top-pair defenseman playing alongside Jones as well. His defensive rating was -0.3 according to HockeyStatCards.

What is his final grade for this season?

Locked on Blackhawks gave him a C+.

That seems fair based on the struggles at the beginning of the season to help out offensively. The contract and the decent production will fail some fans. Really, you cannot blame Jones for signing that huge deal. Who on Earth would turn down that money if someone is foolish enough to offer him.

Looking at the role he is asked to fill, being the top defenseman, and what he produced, he grades out with a C on this site.