Player evaluation: Jones
This season: 48 games, 5 goals, 16 assists, 28 penalty minutes, 18:10 average ice time.
The good: Claimed off waivers early in the season, Jones, early on, looked as though he might allow the Kings to duplicate the surprising success they had last season, in plucking Kyle Quincey off the waiver wire. Jones had four goals and five assists in his first 11 games with the Kings. At his best, Jones has strong puck-moving skills and can be an asset on the blue line on the power play.
The bad: Consistency was a problem for Jones, and his play dipped rather severely after he returned from the “upper-body injury” he sustained in December after a big hit from Edmonton’s Dustin Penner. Jones’ game is based on movement, but too often, he didn’t get his feet moving and made poor decisions with the puck that turned into turnovers.
Going forward: Jones is an unrestricted free agent this summer, and given the depth of defensemen in the Kings’ system, it’s hard to imagine they would feel the need for Jones to return. Terry Murray talked about Jones’ potential to be a top-four defenseman in the NHL, so there’s probably a spot for him in the league somewhere, but it’s doubtful that he fits with the Kings going forward.