Seth Jones has a famous sport lineage, but a background very rare for his sport.
The top NHL prospect is the son of former NBA player Popeye Jones, and later this year is likely to become the first African-American player selected No. 1 in the NHL entry draft. With the potential to become one of the sport’s biggest stars and bring hockey to a new and largely untapped market, many people are starting to take notice of Seth Jones.
Count Jay-Z as one of them. The hip-hop mogul has reportedly targeted Jones to become a member of his Roc Nation Sports marketing team. There’s a good chance it could happen — his dad is already represented by CAA, Roc Nation’s partner.
“When Seth comes to the NHL draft [in Newark, NJ] in June, his family, agents at CAA and Roc Nation are going to have a powwow to see if he’ll sign with them,” a source told the New York Post.
While he’s set to make a splash on American television sets, Seth Jones has ahlready made quite a name for himself on the ice. As a defenseman for the Portland Winterhawks, he’s shined with his gritty play and two-way playing skills. His game has helped Jones become the top-rated player in Central Scouting’s final NHL Draft rankings.
Popeye Jones recognizes the potential his son has to introduce hockey to a new audience.
“The way Amy and I always raised our boys, we told them they had the best of both worlds, they were black and white,” Popeye Jones said. “We never had any racial issues. … we’ve discussed this, and I think Amy and I know, and Seth knows, that he’s probably looked at more as an African-American player. That’s fine, he accepts that responsibility and understands he has a chance to help grow the game and hopefully bring more inner-city kids into the sport.”
Seth Jones has already started doing that. The African-American phenom has yet to be drafted in the NHL, but already has non-hockey outlets interested in his debut in the big leagues.