Chad Jones is seen in this file photo from March 2013. — Star file photo
Injuries come with the territory in hockey, but it still doesn’t make it easy to watch from the sidelines.
Chad Jones says he enjoyed his rookie season with the Summerside Western Capitals, despite being laid up for the last five weeks of the 2013-14 Maritime Junior Hockey League campaign.
The rookie rearguard, a former major midget defenceman of the year in his home province, was limited to 36 games after he suffered a broken collarbone.
“I just got hit. A clean hit, that’s all,” Jones said from Summerside Tuesday where he’s wrapping up his studies at the University of Prince Edward Island before returning home to Corner Brook.
Jone picked up six assists and accumulated 60 penalty minutes in 36 games in the regular season, but his injury kept him on the shelf for the playoff drive. Those playoffs were short-lived as the Capitals were ousted in the first round by the Miramichi Timberwolves in five games in a best-of-seven showdown.
Jones has seen his share of ups and downs throughout his young hockey life. He’s been on the receiving end of some lopsided losses in provincial major midget hockey before wrapping up his major midget career with a championship with the Colemans Western Kings in his final year of eligibility.
While he was recovering from his inury, he still hung out with his teammates at practice and continued regular training sessions at the gym.
But he admits it wasn’t fun being unable to help his team down the stretch. The Corner Brook native is known as a heavy hitter who plays an “in-your-face” brand of hockey.
“It was rough watching so many games,” he said.
He plans on working hard over the summer months to ensure he’s in good shape for training camp in the fall since he’s been invited back by the Western Capitals’ coaching staff.
His biggest challenge making the jump from major midget to Junior A was adjusting to the speed of the game, and he says he still has to speed his play up a bit and make faster decisions.
Jones believes his game has improved, so he can only keep working hard until it’s time to join his teammates again.
“Get in shape that’s pretty much it,” he said.
“Come to camp and go from there.”