It was all part of the plan; Nathan Mackinnon goes first, Seth Jones goes second and Jonathan Drouin goes third.
The critics might have been saying something like, “You have to get a franchise forward in this year’s draft if you’re David Poile.”
Poile wasn’t listening, fortunately. He resisted the temptation of Elias Lindholm, Sean Monahan and Valeri Nichushkin and selected defenseman Seth Jones from the Portland Winterhawks.
Panthers GM Dale Tallon said that he passed on taking Jones because they were happy with their depth at the blue-line already. Ironically, the GM with the deepest defensive corps in the league did not hesitate to add the 18-year-old out of Texas.
This move obviously gives Nashville options, as they’re now likely to move a younger defenseman such as Jonathan Blum or Mattias Ekholm for a contributing forward. Honestly, it would not surprise me if they’re even open to trading Ryan Ellis as well.
Jones is a smart puck mover with the speed and lateral movement that’s had scouts salivating ever since he broke onto the scene last year. He is already bigger than most NHL defenseman at 6-foot-3, 201 pounds and he will be skating beside Shea Weber on the Predators’ top defensive unit from day one.
There are many that believe Nashville missed on an opportunity to add a scorer that they obviously need, however, I believe that this was best case scenario.