Preds sign top pick Jones to entry-level contract

July 10, 2013, 3:36 PM

The Nashville Predators have signed defenceman Seth Jones, the team’s top draft pick, to a three-year, entry-level contract, general manager David Poile announced Wednesday.

Jones, the fourth overall selection in last month’s NHL draft, will make a base salary of $925,000, with maximum rookie contract signing bonuses giving him a salary cap number of $3.225 million.

“Seth is a special prospect and we were fortunate to be in position to select him,” Poile said in a press release. “As a player, he brings so much to our organization, from size you can’t teach to a skill set that every team hopes to add and a personality and maturity that will allow him to grow and develop with our veteran core and other young players. ”

Jones was ranked the No. 1 North American skater by NHL Central Scouting after finishing the 2012-13 season with 14 goals and 42 assists with a plus-46 rating in 61 regular-season games for the Portland Winterhawks. He added five goals and 15 points in 21 post-season games on the way to winning the 2013 WHL Championship.

“I’m excited to be one step closer to realizing the dream of playing in the NHL, especially with a world-class organization like the Nashville Predators,” Jones said. “Since being drafted by the Predators and coming to development camp, I’m certain this is the right spot and right organization for me.”

“I can’t wait for the opportunity to learn from and play with world class players like Shea Weber and Pekka Rinne and other veteran players who will help me in my development on and off the ice.”

The 18-year-old Jones, the WHL’s rookie of the year, fell to the Predators at No. 4 after Nathan MacKinnon, Aleksander Barkov and Jonathan Drouin were selected ahead of the six-foot-three, 205-pound defenceman.

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