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Jones and MacKinnon ready to clash

The Hockey News

The Hockey News

The last time Seth Jones and Nathan MacKinnon were on opposite sides of a competitive game, Jones’ U.S. team dominated MacKinnon’s Atlantic squad 12-1 in the 2011 under-17 challenge.

Expect things to be more even Jan. 16 in Halifax, when Jones, captain of Team Orr, takes on MacKinnon, captain of Team Cherry, in the annual Top Prospects Game.

While MacKinnon grabs so much attention for his flashy numbers and the fact he leads the best team in the nation, Jones, the much-ballyhooed No. 2 prospect, sits on a deep Portland defense corps. The nature of his position also doesn’t lend itself to sexy numbers and, therefore, overwhelming attention.

But to be sure, Jones has been awesome and was the clear choice to be a captain in this showcase of draft-eligible talent. Though Jones sits fourth on his team in defenseman scoring with 17 points in 24 games, that’s still good enough for 16th league-wide and his snarly physical game makes him a force to reckon with in the corners and in front of the net.

While the WJC will provide a glimpse at some of the top talent available in 2013, it’s mostly regarded as a 19-year-old tournament. The Top Prospects Game is the best opportunity for you to check out this year’s elite players.

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