The Nashville Predators have signed first-round pick Seth Jones to a three-year entry-level contract. Jones will be paid a base salary of $925,000, but he was given the maximum signing bonuses allowed for a rookie contract, pushing his cap number to $3.225 million.
Jones was the No. 4 overall pick in the 2013 NHL Draft, a surprisingly low selection for a player who at one point was considered a strong candidate to go with the top pick. NHL Central Scouting ranked the 18-year-old Jones as the No. 1 North American skater after scoring 14 goals and adding 42 assists in 61 games with the Portland Winterhawks en route to the WHL Rookie of the Year as his team won the WHL Championship last year. Jones was also the alternate captain for the U.S. at the 2013 World Junior Championships.
"Seth is a special prospect and we were fortunate to be in position to select him," Predators general manager David Poile said in a team 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.
"He has excelled at the junior and international levels and we anticipate him enjoying great success at the NHL level."
Jones is considered an advanced player who can step in and play in the NHL right away. He is already playing in the Predators' summer prospect camp and will be in training camp come September, where he can earn his spot on the Nashville blueline for the 2013-14 season.