The Wildcats have added a second player to their 2018/19 recruiting class with the addition of smooth skating defensemen, Ben Jones!
Jones, standing at 5’11’ 190-pounds, from Imperial, MO., comes to the Wildcats after a very successful season with the St. Louis Jr. Blues (NA3HL). Jones was the defensive partner of recent Wildcat commit: Matthew Hohl. The defensive duo went through the entire National tournament without giving up one goal, playing a major role in the Blues run all the way to the National Championship game.
"I am very excited to be joining the University of Arizona's hockey program," said Ben Jones. "I feel that Arizona allows me to compete at a very high level. The combination of a great education and an opportunity to compete for a national championship is somwthing I have always been working towards."
Jones smooth skating ability allowed him to put up 23 points (4 goals, 19 assists) in 38 games last season. He is the kind of player that can be used in any situation and has the ability to develop into a premier defensemen in the WCHL.
“Jones brings an elite level of skating that can’t be taught,” said coach Berman. “I couldn’t be more excited. He is another slam-dunk fit into our culture. He excels at using his feet to create time and space and moves pucks up in transitions very well, which fits perfectly into our teams system and skill-set. I am most excited by his work ethic and desire to be great, it’s going to a lot of fun to watch his game take the next step!”
It is quite rare in college hockey to see a team commit to a defensive pair from the same team, something coach Berman welcomes with open arms.
“Jones and Hohl compliment each other really well,” said coach Berman. “Not only are we adding two kids that fit the mold of everything we are trying to build, we also get a defensive pair with great chemistry and familiarity with each other."
“When you are building a program it has to start with a foundation of character. You need a combination of character and talent to win championships - you can’t sustain success with one and not the other. I am very confident we are adding both with these two student-athletes. In addition, I have a lot in common with them. They recently came one goal short of a National Championship. That can be an extremely valuable experience that motivates you beyond belief. Speaking for myself, I still can’t get over the image of that team from Tempe celebrating their National Championship as I watched on the opposing bench. I can relate to that feeling that is still very fresh in their minds and I hope we get to collectively fill that void together.”
|2017/18||St. Louis Jr. Blues||NA3HL||38||4||19||23||109|