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Breakout Year: The Sequel

One guy that has been heating up lately is David Jones, M.D.  He has a devoted following here at MHH (and even a fictional newsletter!!!), but may not be all that familiar to some new fans or readers due to the copious amount of time he's spent in the trainer's office over the last couple of seasons.  So I figured I'd give a short profile on one of my favorite players.

Jones was born in Guelph, Ontario in August of 1984.  Young Davey was taught to skate on a local Ontario pond by his father and began developing his hockey skills, like all good Canadians.  An avid athlete, Jones first love for a long time was soccer, a sport he still enjoys to this day.  After destroying all he surveyed in Juniors (93 points in 53 games in his last season for the Coquitlam Express of the BCHL), Jones was drafted in the 9th round (288th overall) by Colorado. He would delay his professional debut as he decided to matriculate to Dartmouth College and Ivy League Hockey where he would see his production steadily increase during the course of his three years there.

Jones made his professional debut with the Lake Erie Monsters in the 2007-2008 season.  In 45 games with the Monsters he accumulated 14 goals and 16 assists.  He also cracked the Avalanche roster on his third call-up.  All-in-all, he managed only 2 goals and 4 assists over his scattered 27 games with the Avalanche, but he impressed the right people and was part of the roster as they entered the playoffs against Minnesota.  He only managed a single point in those 10 post-season games, but he appeared to show enough promise that management was willing to let Andrew Brunette walk in the off-season and pencil Jones in his place on the right wing.

At 6'-2", 220 pounds with soft hands, exceptional skating ability, deceiving speed, and a scorer's touch, it isn't hard to see why the Avalanche were excited to see his potential come to fruition.  Unfortunately the 2008-2009 season would not deliver on that promise as it was derailed with injuries.  He nursed groin injuries out of training camp and then had his season completely ended with a shoulder injury suffered against the Sharks in January of 2009.  The injury required season-ending surgery.  In all he manged a paltry 13 points in 40 games and could never seem to get going.  Then again, nobody else on the team could either as injuries decimated the depth and breadth of the lineup.

Not daunted by the injury, Jones rehabilitated diligently over the summer and returned to the team looking to break out during the 2009-2010 season.  Even a chest injury suffered in a preseason game against the Kings was a minor blip as David shot out of the gate for the youthful Avalanche team with 4 goals and 2 assists in the first six games of the season.  He cooled off for a while and Coach Joe Sacco seemed to struggle to find a permanent spot for him on one of the top three lines.  He started to heat up with a couple of one goal and one assist nights during late October of 2009 when the unthinkable happened: He tangled legs with Chuck Kobesew, landed awkwardly and ended up with an ACL tear that would require another season-ending surgery.  His totals for the 2009-2010 season shook out at 10 goals and six assists in 23 games.  The breakout season was over.  Rehabbing the ACL tear was Jones' primary focus for the remainder of the 2009-2010 season and while he was rumored to be ready by the time the Avs squeaked into a first-round match-up with the San Jose Sharks, he did not appear in any other games last season. 

Coming into this season, all signs pointed to the mentally tough winger being prepared to show his hockey aptitude once again.  So far this season he's managed to accumulate 9 goals and 4 assists in 17 games.  He's missed a handful of games with a hand injury, but since returning has pumped in 5 goals and 2 assists in the last six Colorado tilts.  With the injury to T.J. Galiardi, Jones has found himself on the wing across from Chris Stewart with Paul Stastny feeding him pucks.  That line seems to have some chemistry as evidenced in the Dallas game where Jones had a goal and a near goal on a spectacular feed from Stastny. Hopefully the injury trend for Jones is a thing of the past and that he can continue to show the promise that has been shown in fleeting glimpses so far.  Nobody would be happier than the Colorado Avalanche and their fans to see David shake off his "injury-prone" label and take the next step as a premier power forward in the NHL.