Traditionally, it’s not easy for rookies to break into ILIndoor’s list of top players, but the Class of 2012 was not traditional. Adam Jones is the second rookie to crack the Top 40, and really, it’s easy to see why. With poise beyond his years and undeniable skill for a kid who’s barely 23 years old, Jones was very business-like in his approach to his first National Lacrosse League season. And what we saw was a rookie that didn’t play like a newb as he proved himself to be an integral part of a re-tooled Colorado Mammoth team that had fallen on hard times.
Of course, 1 player does not elevate a team by himself. But the fact remains that in 2011, the Mammoth won just 5 games. A year later, with Jones in the lineup, the team was off to a 6-0 start en route to an 11-5 finish, a league-high 217 goals, and a playoff berth. Jones scored 28 points in that 6-0 start, 20 of them coming in the first 3 games. So yeah, the left-hander out of Owen Sound, Ontario, showed quickly that he was the impact player a few NLL GMs said he would be.
On top of that, concerns over his reconstructed knee were put to rest and Jones collected a nod to the NLL’s All-Star Game mid-season, then put the league’s Rookie of the Year trophy on his mantle. Jones led all NLL rookies with 76 points, and his 29 goals broke the Colorado record for goals scored by a rookie in a season. In 6 games, he scored 3 or more goals and in 7 games, he had 6 or more points, including a 9-point effort against Philadelphia.
He didn’t play much over the summer, opting to remain home and suit up for his hometown Senior B Owen Sound Woodsmen, where he had 19 points in 4 regular-season games. He scored 30 points in 9 playoff games for the Woodsmen, who lost in the Ontario finals to St. Catharines. Part of the deal to let him play for Owen Sound was that he had to play for the MSL’s Brooklin Redmen, and he did that, carding 6 games overall between the regular-season and the playoffs.
The numbers certainly do speak volumes as to the production Jones can provide, but it’s about more than production for Jones. It’s about influence and confidence. In himself and his teammates’ belief in him. You hear coaches talking about players making everyone around them better? That’s Adam Jones.
Fact: Jones played for 3 different indoor teams in 2012 –- the Colorado Mammoth, the Owen Sound Woodsmen and the Brooklin Redmen –- and all 3 were playoff teams.
Top 40 (last year’s rank in parenthesis)firstname.lastname@example.org or go to RochesterSports.com.
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