Sunday, February 4, 2018

Keeping Up With One Half Of The Joneses:

Here is an article on former Vernon Vipers forward Kellen Jones.

Jones was entering his second season with American Hockey League Bridgeport Sound Tigers was released from training camp, was sent to the East Coast Hockey League Worcester Railers.

Jones spent last season with the Sound Tigers after playing with three different teams during the 2015-16 season (Missouri Mavericks, Bakersfield Condors & Utica Comets). In 34 games this season with Worcester, Jones has (9-goals-12-assists-21-points).

After four years at Quinnipiac University, Kellen Jones signed his first pro contract with the American Hockey League (AHL) Oklahoma City Barons on April 3rd 2014.

Kellen Jones played four years in Vernon (2006-2010) playing in 154 regular season games with the Vipers collecting (39-goals-134-assists-173-points). Jones is also the all-time franchise assists leader (regular season & playoffs) with 150. Jones was drafted in Round 7 of the 2010 NHL Entry Draft #202 overall by the Edmonton Oilers.

Kellen Jones Player Profile:

This was in the Telegram Newspaper:

Keeping up with one half of the Joneses

By Bill Ballou

Telegram & Gazette Staff

Posted Nov 9, 2017

WORCESTER — Railers coach Jamie Russell really likes what Kellen Jones has done for his team so far this season.

He thinks.

Russell assumes it’s Kellen Jones wearing a Worcester uniform and not his identical twin, Connor, who plays for the AHL’s Bridgeport Sound Tigers. All signs point to this including the fact that when someone yells out “Kellen,” the Railers’ Jones turns his head to see who’s calling him.

“When I was at Bridgeport’s (training) camp,” Russell concedes, “I couldn’t tell who was Kellen and who was Connor, to be honest.”

Best-case scenario, in Russell’s mind, would be to have both because they are excellent players.

“I recruited Kellen and Connor back in college a while ago,” he said, “and took a run at them again when I was in Elmira, so to have one of them playing for me now is terrific.”

Kellen Jones is 27, a fourth-year pro who is experienced, but not experienced enough to be classified as a veteran — in the ECHL, that’s a valuable commodity.

Throughout his ECHL career, Kellen Jones has been a point-a-game forward and the Railers expect that sort of performance again this season, unless he earns a recall to Bridgeport to rejoin his brother.

They have played together for almost forever, starting with the Vernon Vipers of the British Columbia Hockey League, then for four more years at Quinnipiac University in Hamden, Connecticut. They finally split up for a season in 2015-16, but have never played against each other.

“Our second year in the pros we could have,” Kellen said. “I was in Utica and he was in Bridgeport, but it just didn’t work out with the schedule, but it would have been really cool.”

They have, though, scrimmaged and skated against each other in training camp.

“We’ve had a couple of incidents we’d rather not talk about,” Kellen said. “We’re pretty competitive with each other and we kind of go at it, but we’re usually on the same team.”

The separation in 2015-16 took some getting used to.

“The first time it was odd,” Kellen said. “You play together your whole life, you live together your whole life — seemed like it got a lot quieter. I didn’t have that guy looking over my shoulder screaming at me, always around, but it was good for us.”

The Jones’ grew up in Montrose, British Columbia, due north of Spokane, Washington, just over the U.S. border. After their time was up in the BCHL, one of the early schools to get in the recruiting line was Quinnipiac.

“They were one of the first schools that came around,” Kellen said, “and we liked them, and they really wanted us. We hadn’t heard of Quinnipiac before that. You hear about it now, though.”

Another factor in Quinnipiac’s favor was that it wanted the brothers as a package deal, and they made it clear that wherever they were going to play, they were going together.

People who know them well can tell them apart, Kellen said.

“We’re identical twins, but over the years now I think we’ve kind of grown differently,” he said. “Different cuts, different hair. On the ice, too, he’s a little more reckless. People say I’m a little smoother than him, but if we wear the the same beard, long hair, we’re pretty similar.”

One part of Connor’s resume that Kellen would like to be identical with is having NHL experience.
That happened for Connor last season with the New York Islanders, when he was up for four games.

“I remember showing up for warmup for his first game,” Kellen said, “and being completely enthralled and happy for him, thinking that I helped him get there, too. The best part was watching my parents. They’d invested a lot of time and money into our dreams and their reaction when he stepped on the ice for his first shift was absolutely priceless.”

Kellen Jones is one of just six Railers to play every one of the season’s first nine games and his scoring totals of 2-4—6 are tied for second on the team with Wade Murphy as Worcester heads into a home-and-home series with Manchester that starts Saturday night at the DCU Center.

There’s a reason for all that ice time. His coach believes Kellen is off to a great start.

“He’s a complete player,” Russell said. “He responds well, he manages the puck, he plays in all situations — power plays, the penalty kill. He’s a real competitive guy who wins a lot of one on one battles. I couldn’t be happier with Kellen Jones and how he plays.”

In that case, the only thing better than having one Jones on the team would be having two of them, as long as they had different haircuts to make it easier for everybody.

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