The Minnesota Wild made a trade with the Carolina Hurricanes to obtain a second pick in the second round of the 2019 draft. The Wild landed the 59th pick in the draft in return for the 73rd (3rd round) and 99th (4th round) picks in the draft. With that 59th overall pick, the Minnesota Wild selected goaltender Hunter Jones, of the Peterborough Petes in the OHL.
Jones is a 6-foot-4, 198 pound, 18-year-old goalie from Brantford, Ontario. He has spent the past two seasons playing for the Petes in the OHL. His stats from the OHL are misleading, so I won’t bother posting them here. The stats are far from impressive but are as much a reflection of the talent around him as they are of Jones himself. He was ranked as the number 3 North American goaltender by NHL Central Scouting, number 57 overall by TSN’s Bob McKenzie, and the number 14 goaltender by The Athletic’s Corey Pronman.
Pronman noted that Jones has a good toolkit and good athleticism, but also loses focus at times and has issues tracking the puck. Other observers also noted that Jones had great athleticism but lacks in technique. This is promising for Jones’s overall potential. Athleticism cannot be taught but technique can. He has a chance of becoming a starter at the NHL level, but he will need help along the way for that to happen. In addition to technique issues, scouts also note that his skating needs work.
Jones joins an interesting group of goaltenders in the Minnesota system. Kaap Kahkonen just finished his first season in North America with Iowa this past year, and he will be joined there by former University of Minnesota top goalie Mat Robson this upcoming year. At the NHL level, Devan Dubnyk has two years left on his current contract and backup Alex Stalock has three. In the next few years, Kahkonen and Robson should be fighting for spots at the NHL level, especially as the contracts for the Wild’s current goalies expire. As Kahkonen and Robson look to move up, Hunter Jones should be looking to become Iowa’s top goalie.
Jones also has a phenomenal Twitter handle. Go give him a follow @ShutoutsJones