When the puck drops Seth Jones will stand alone.
The rookie defenseman is one of two Nashville Predators who have played in all 70 games this season. The other is veteran center Paul Gaustaud, who has been sent home because of an upper body injury sustained late in Wednesday’s loss at Vancouver and, therefore, won’t play Friday against the Calgary Flames (8 p.m., Fox Sports-Tennessee).
That means the 19-year-old Jones will be the last of Nashville’s players with a chance to appear in each of this season’s 82 contests.
Already, the fourth overall pick in the 2013 draft is one of nine Predators rookies all-time to play at least 70 games. He’s also one of five rookies around the league with at least 70 games played thus far this season.
MOST GAMES PLAYED, PREDATORS ROOKIE
80 – Dan Hamhuis (2003-04)
80 – Martin Erat (2001-02)
79 – Adam Hall (2002-03)
75 – Scott Hartnell (2000-01)
72 – Craig Smith (2011-12)
71 – Ryan Suter (2005-06)
71 – David Legwand (1999-00)
70 (and counting) – Seth Jones (2013-14)
70 – Jordin Tootoo (2003-04)
If Jones stays healthy and is in the lineup for 82 games it will be the 39th time a Nashville player has done so and he will be the 24th different player to do it. The last were defenseman Shea Weber and forwards Colin Wilson and Jerred Smithson in 2010-11. (It’s worth noting that Weber and David Legwand each played all 48 in the lockout-shortened 2012-13 campaign).
Greg Johnson played all 82 a franchise-record four times (99-00, 00-01, 01-02 and 03-04) and two others, Ryan Suter and Karlis Skrastins, did it three times each.
Among the 23 players who have done it at least once are five who preceded Jones as first-round picks (Suter, Legwand, Scott Hartnell, Dan Hamhuis and Colin Wilson). None of them, though, did it in their first NHL seasons.