NHL: Matt Jones' career in doubt
Matt Jones made the NHL in his first pro season, spent three years with the Phoenix Coyotes and appeared to have a bright future ahead as a multi-talented defenseman.
But the former UND standout may be done with professional hockey.
Jones suffered a concussion a year and a half ago and is still having problems related to it, player agent Justin Duberman said Tuesday. Jones still has not been medically cleared to play.
"Matt's still in Phoenix and he does what he can," Duberman said. "He's not 100 percent back yet or anything near that. Matt's got some decisions that will have to be made with his family, myself and the doctors that have to keep evaluating him."
Jones was playing with Phoenix's top minor league affiliate, the San Antonio Rampage, when he suffered the concussion. Duberman called it "severe." He hasn't played in more than a year and his rights were traded from Phoenix to Toronto.
Jones has been living in Phoenix while he hopes the effects of the concussion subside.
Never one to sit
The Illinois native came to UND in 2001. He never missed a game due to injury in his four-year college career. Jones played in every Sioux game as a freshman, junior and senior.
The only four games he missed as a sophomore were because he was representing Team USA at the World Junior Championship.
The two-way defenseman was named an alternate captain as a senior and he led the team to the national championship game that year.
He finished his career with 16 goals, 36 assists and 52 points in 162 games played.
After his college career ended, Jones signed with Phoenix -- the team that drafted him in the third round in 2002. Jones started his pro career with San Antonio, but was with the Coyotes by the end of the year. He played 45 NHL games in both 2006-07 and 2007-08.
In 2008, Jones signed a two-year, one-way deal with Phoenix. He earned $550,000 in 2008-09 and $575,000 last year. He's scheduled to become a restricted free agent this summer.
"He's not playing at this time and it's still not clear as to whether or not he'll continue playing," said Duberman, also a former Sioux player. "Injuries are a tough part of the game. You always hope they don't shorten someone's career."
Reach Schlossman at (701) 780-1129; (800) 477-6572, ext. 129; or send e-mail to email@example.com.