2016 NHL Draft Profiles: Max Jones

Max Jones – 6’3, 205-pound left winger from the London Knights (OHL)

Max Jones Rankings

  • Ranked #17 in Aggregate Draft Rankings
  • Ranked #20 by
  • Ranked #14 by ISS Hockey
  • Ranked #20 by Future Considerations
  • Ranked #17 by McKeen’s Hockey
  • Ranked #14 by NHL Central Scouting (NA Skaters)
  • Ranked #42 by Craig Button

Max Jones Scouting Report provided by Brock Otten of OHL Prospects

Max Jones Strengths

  • His physicality is a major asset when used correctly. As much as there is now a place for a guy like Alex Debrincat in today’s NHL, there will always be a place for guys like Max Jones, too. He’s a throwback power forward cut from the same cloth as a guy like Wendel Clark.
  • Over the course of the season, his defensive game really improved, and he was a major factor on the backcheck and on the PK in the OHL playoffs (when he played) and in the Memorial Cup.
  • His speed is definitely an asset, as he has a very explosive first few steps and this really helps him to drive the net and get to loose pucks.
  • He can create off the rush with deceptively good hands (ask Jakob Chychrun). His shot is heavy and has the potential to become a major asset.

Max Jones Weaknesses

  • He certainly hasn’t made a lot of fans this year with his borderline reckless physical antics. There’s absolutely no doubt that he needs to play more controlled and composed. Missing a big chunk of the OHL playoffs could have really hurt his team.
  • The major question mark for me is his hockey sense. That’s the key to his development and potential. The physical skills are there, but I do wonder about his ability to be a scoring line player at the NHL level.
  • The other concern I have is over how he uses his physicality. I would love to see him be more of a factor on the forecheck by creating turnovers with those thundering checks (think of the impact Tom Wilson had as an OHL player).

The Verdict

Someone will take him, and probably early. Even if the offensive game doesn’t translate, you’re still looking at a Jamie McGinn/Tom Wilson type of player and that still has value.

Max Jones Career Notes

  • Drafted round 1, #18 overall by London Knights in the 2014 OHL Priority Selection Draft 
  • HPHL U18 Most Penalized Player (123) in 2013-14
  • Won a U17 WHC Silver Medal in 2014-15
  • Led U17 WHC in Goals (7) in 2014-15
  • Named to the 2015-16 CHL Top Prospects Game
  • 2015-16 OHL Champion with the London Knights
  • 2016 Memorial Cup Champion with the London Knights

Max Jones Interview

Courtesy of The Pipeline Show back in September:

On describing himself as a player:
I’m a power forward. I have real speed. I have a hard shot. Every time the puck is on my stick on the slot, I plan on putting it through the net.

On his hockey upbringing:
I was born in Binghamton, New York. My dad played about six years in the NHL, so he was finishing up there. I think he was coaching at the time. I was born there, and then as a young boy we moved to Michigan so my older brother Mitch and I could start up our hockey careers. From there on out, we grew up in Rochester, Michigan — a great city. Ever since then, I played hockey for multiple clubs in the Detroit area.

I’ve always been a forward, kind of switching off and on from center to left wing. You’ve got to learn to play both of them as a kid. That’s what I did. It was just kind of a natural thing. Growing up, my dad taught me a lot about how to play forward. I took his notes down and didn’t look back.

On his experience with the USNTDP:
Growing up, I didn’t really know much about what I was going to do. I was always aware of what the US National Team was. I just thought it woud be unreal to represent the Red Wing blue and wear that on my chest. It was always a thing when I was growing up. I definitely don’t look back. It was an unreal year. Playing international games is really cool; you get to represent.

On playing against USHL teams as a 17 year old:
It’s definitely a mental battle. All year you’re not expecting to win a lot of games. I think, for our team, we only won about six or seven out of 30 games we played. It’s definitely a mental battle and a physical battle too. They’re bigger, older guys. It definitely takes a toll on the body, but it all helps us in the future.

On his high penalty minute numbers:
I guess I am more of a power forward type. I do put up points. I just kind of got myself in a couple of bad situations where I should’ve skated away but my emotions got the best of me. [Penalty minutes] is a number I want to bring down while bringing my points up more.

Sometimes my stick play is too much and I’m tripping guys, or I get myself into a position where I’m just really competitive and it kind of just gets out of hand.

On going to the OHL instead of the U18 USNTDP:
Obviously I’m a big power forward, and the OHL is a tougher, more physical league. I think that it all helps me out in the long run. I’m playing with a great group of players here — a very talented and skilled group — so that will all just help me work on the aspects of my game I need help with.

On whether Matthew Tkachuk’s decision to go to London influenced his:
Not really. It was more what I felt like was going to help me best in the long run with the draft. I think it was more of a personal look at what I needed for me.

On comparing the USHL to the OHL:
It’s definitely different. The speed and the level of play, you can see the difference. You can feel the difference when you’re playing. It’s completely different because, on the US team, you’re with a bunch of 17 year olds and it’s harder to win games. When you’re here, you’ve got different aged players and you’re playing with different talent and different skill. I like it a lot right now. I feel like I’m getting more chances to score.

On putting on some weight going into the 2015-16 season:
I feel bigger. I feel stronger. This past summer I was lifting a lot of weights. Lately I’ve been trying to put the weight on because I’ve been trying to push 205. That’s where I want to keep it.

Experts Take on Max Jones’s Mark Edwards on The Pipeline Show in November:
I have a little bit more of a problem than [fellow scout Ryan Yessie] with his hockey sense and his decision making out there. He kind of reminds me of — parts of his game when I watch him, because of his straight line [skating], and he’s really good skater and he’s got a shot — Jake Virtanen. I didn’t really like Virtanen as far his hockey sense and decision making, but I really liked the other parts of his game — the speed, the way he could skate with that size, and his shot was fantastic. It’s not just hard but accurate. Some of the things remind me of him.

Max Jones Statistics

2014-15USNTDP JuniorsUSHL245510116-5|
U.S. National U17 TeamUSDP38181028189|
U.S. National U18 TeamUSDP20000|
USA U17WHC-176741114|
2015-16London KnightsOHL6328245210630|Playoffs6112232

Max Jones Video