Chad Jones is shown in this undated photo. — Star file photo
SUMMERSIDE, P.E.I. — Chad Jones seems content knowing he is making promising strides in his rookie campaign with the Summerside Western Capitals.
“I’m coming along. I’m starting to get my foot in the door,” Jones, an 18-year-old graduate of the Colemans Western Kings, said Monday afternoon. “Like I’m getting more opportunities I guess.”
Jones has been a healthy scratch for two of the Capitals first 12 games while the team sits in the cellar in the five-team Roger Meek Division with a record of three wins and nine losses.
“I’m getting more ice-time as I go. I just got to work for it,” he said.
Jones has an even plus-minus rating in 10 games as a physical defenceman on the Capitals blueline, chipping in with three assists and accumating 27 penalty minutes.
Selected the top defenceman in Newfoundland and Labrador major midget hockey one year ago after leading the Kings to the provincial crown, Jones plays a physical brand of hockey and takes pride in defending his own end of the rink by making simple, quick decisions to get the puck out of harm’s way.
He’s found out quickly that the game is a little more challenging on the Maritime junior league front.
“On the ice I think I’m coming along. It’s just a matter of adjusting to the speed because it’s a lot faster than major midget,” he said.
The Capitals play two or three games every weekend and seldom play mid-week games so they hold team practices at least twice a week. Jones can only work hard every time he hits the ice in order to adjust to the quicker foot speed of players in the junior ranks.
“Just basically get used to making decisions quicker,” he said of his focus moving forward.
And, he still enjoys looking for the bone-crushing open ice hit as he did as a punishing defender at the major midget level.
“It’s a good league to be physical in,” he said.