>More Jones Coverage

>From The Tennessean:

Who could blame him? A year ago, he was in an entirely different situation — a fourth-year player at Miami of Ohio racking up all kinds of points en route to being named a finalist for the NCAA’s top award.

“In juniors and college, you’re ‘the guy.’ Then you get to the NHL and you find out there’s a lot of ‘the guys,’ ” Trotz said. “You’re used to being a big part of it and all of a sudden now, you’re playing 10 minutes a game instead of 25. “

Hornqvist, 20, finds himself in a similar position — one of the Swedish elite league’s top scorers the last two seasons, but now adjusting to a brand new team and a first season on North America’s smaller rinks.

“Everything is so straight-ahead and so fast,” Hornqvist said. “When you get the puck on the wall in your zone, you need to make a decision so fast. They’re a little slower (in Europe).”

Trotz figures the last thing his two rookies need is a coach screaming in their ears every time they make a mistake, so he tends to take the opposite approach as long as he sees the proper effort on the ice.

“They’re dealing with enough self-doubt,” Trotz said. “I still want the enthusiasm and the work ethic, and when they get the chance, I want them to go out and play relaxed because they’re good players. We want them to play instinctively, not be paralyzed by trying to over-think stuff.”

Hornqvist and Jones followed their instincts Wednesday, with Hornqvist stretching his stick to redirect a Shea Weber shot past Marty Turco and Jones whacking home a loose puck in the crease later in the game.

The goals weren’t enough to propel the Preds to victory, but they should serve as a nice confidence boost heading into Friday’s game in Columbus.

“It definitely helps because you’re not as nervous going in to the next game,” Jones said. “It’s good to know you can play at this level.”

Posted on October 17, 2008, in Miami Alumni, Ryan Jones. Bookmark the permalink. Leave a comment.

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