WATERFORD, Mich. – Cody Jones may be second in Metro Jets’ team scoring, but he’s far from satisfied with just personal statistics.
Jones, a 19-year-old second-year forward out of Keego Harbor, Mich., has registered seven goals and 11 assists for 18 points while playing in 21 games thus far for the Jets.
Last season as a rookie, Jones went for 23 points in 46 games, so he’s well ahead of his scoring pace from the 2013-14 season.
“Last year, I learned that playing controlled and calm is the best way to approach games,” said Jones. “You don't realize how much time you have on the ice if you overthink the situations. This season from a personal standpoint, I feel that I need to perform more consistently night in and night out. As a team, I feel that we are in a good position to really turn up our play and do well in the second half of the season.”
Playing mostly on a line with fellow second-year players Cooper McLean and Max Vance, Jones is starting to see his offensive creativity flourish.
“I feel like the more we play together, the more we seem to become more aware of each other on the ice,” said Jones.
“Cody is a perfect example of a player developing in the right direction,” added Metro coach Justin Quenneville. “He has come so far from last season and being rewarded forward for it currently. He can really shoot the pill coupled with an element of grit to round off his game.”
As a veteran player that was part of the Jets’ squad that made the North American 3 Hockey League playoffs on the final day of the 2013-14 season, Jones knows how to maintain focus throughout the full grind of the season.
“We're working hard at practice, refining our game for the upcoming practice and we realize the importance of the opportunity at hand,” Jones said.
As in life itself, Jones sees the relationship between hard work and success.
“I would love to compete at a higher level of junior hockey or in college,” Jones said. “I love hockey and playing at a higher level has been my goal since I entered the league last year. Overall, my long-term goal would be to go to school, play hockey and get a start to my life doing something I love.
“To get there, I know I'm going to have to work hard and focus on doing what it takes to get there.”
LOOKING BACK, LOOKING AHEAD
After sitting idle last weekend and part of this coming weekend, the Jets travel to Blaine, Minn., to take part in the NA3HL Showcase event at the Schwan Super Rink.
Sunday, the Jets play the Wisconsin Whalers at 6 p.m. EST, followed by a game Monday at 7:45 p.m. against a team of prospects from the North American 3 East Hockey League and finishing up Tuesday at 2 p.m. versus the Chicago Jr. Bulldogs.
“The guys are excited and now will have to channel that effectively in this one-of-a-kind showcase,” Quenneville said. “It’s a great opportunity for the players to get complete exposure from higher junior leagues and colleges alike. Look for our guys to come out hard against whomever we are playing and hopefully, a few more call-ups to add to the Jets’ resume would be great.”
The Jets (12-10-0) next play a home-and-home with the West Michigan Wolves Dec. 12-13 with Saturday’s game at Lakeland Arena set for 7:50 p.m.
Seven Jets’ players – forwards Vance, McLean, Andrew Sawyer, Jake Sealy and defensemen Devin Kelly, Tyler Layle and Jacob Rutkoske – have played in all 22 games this season.
WHERE ARE THEY NOW?
Jonathon Elliott, a forward who played for the Jets during the 2009-10 campaign, is currently in his junior season at St. Mary’s University, an NCAA Division III school located in Winona, Minn.
Now 23, Elliott finished second in Jets’ scoring in 2009-10 with 15 goals and 26 points before skating two seasons north of the border with the Cumberland Grads of the Central Canada Hockey League.
In 32 career games at St. Mary’s, Elliott has scored six goals and added six assists for 12 points.
Elliott also played high school hockey at Brother Rice High School, graduating in 2009.