The Colorado Avalanche will make NHL history on June 30 if they select Seth Jones with the first-overall pick of the 2013 NHL Draft.
Jones is the most sought after prospect, having impressed scouts during his first season with the Portland Winterhawks. He also played a major role on the gold medal-winning USA team during the 2013 IIHF's World Juniors Championship. Every team has been after him, but when the Avalanche secured the No.1 pick in the draft lottery it all but sealed where the young defenseman would land.
Sports are in this kid’s blood. His father, Ron “Popeye” Jones, is currently the assistant coach of the Brooklyn Nets, but he once shared an arena with the Avalanche as a member of the Denver Nuggets. So when his son began to show an interest in ice hockey, the former Nuggets power forward sought advice from then-Avalanche captain Joe Sakic.
Jones has even claimed that, while growing up in Denver, watching Sakic hoist the Stanley Cup above his head is what peaked his interest in the sport. There are also rumors that Sakic, who is already involved in the team’s front office, will be taking on a larger role with the franchise this season. It is almost as if fate has lined up Jones to become a member of this team.
But that’s not the best part about the possibility of the Avalanche drafting Jones. If he is the first player taken, he will become the first African-American player selected first overall in NHL history. He will surpass Evander Kane, who was picked fourth overall in the 2009 draft. The fact that it's 2013 and this is just now happening is disheartening but, as the best player in this year's draft class, there are no doubts that Jones will get picked first.
As an American player, his draft position will definitely have an impact on hockey in the states, especially in the western part of the country. Kids will start looking up to Jones and see that if he can overcome and be successful in hockey, so can they.
No matter your team affiliation, you have to admit that this is a great hockey story. It would be great to see him in a Flyers uniform, but it looks like history and fate want him to play elsewhere.