Ben Jones brought unwavering consistency to a shuffled Wranglers lineup this season

Photo credit:Jenn Pierce/Calgary Wranglers
Paige Siewert
16 days ago
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Ben Jones has a secret formula for his success in the American Hockey League. Over the last two seasons, he has only missed a single game. This season, he was the only player to skate in all 72 games. With what seemed like every other skater on the team dropping to injury or being yanked up to the Calgary Flames, Jones would always dress for the Calgary Wranglers. His health allowed him to play a full season and his performance kept him in the lineup. Here’s a look at one of the Wranglers’ top scorers’ performance this past season.

The past

Ben Jones was drafted by the Vegas Golden Knights 189th overall back in 2017. He played his first professional games with the AHL’s Chicago Wolves in 2019-20 and spent a bit of time with the Fort Wayne Komets of the ECHL in the same season. The next two seasons he played with the Henderson Silver Knights and in 2021-22, he played his first NHL game with the Vegas Golden Knights.
Jones only played two games in the NHL and has yet to register a point at that level. He came to the Wranglers for their inaugural season in 2022-23. He was signed by the Flames back on July 16, 2022. In his first season in the Flames organization, he had a career year playing in 71 games and registering 17 goals and 37 assists. This put him third in team scoring under Connor Zary and Matthew Phillips.

The present

This season Ben Jones was consistently at the top or near the top of team scoring. He didn’t quite match or exceed his performance from 2022-23 but he still had a year to be proud of. He played in all 72 of Calgary’s games this season and registered a total of 43 points consisting of 21 goals and 22 assists.
When asked about the secret to his iron man streak the last two seasons, Jones put a lot of credit on the athletic trainers, their workout regimen and off-season preparations he said:
“Honestly I’m fortunate it hasn’t been too serious to keep me out of games for a couple of years. So knock on wood, hopefully, that keeps going.”
He had quite a few standout performances during the season. He had nine multi-point games, two shorthanded goals, five power play goals, two shorthanded goals and one game-winning goal. Even though he spent a lengthy amount of time at the top of team scoring, that wasn’t something that was top of mind for him. Jones said:
“That’s something I don’t really want to get caught up in. In numbers and whatnot. I think if you’re playing well, you’re doing the right things, pucks are going to go in and other things are going to happen. But it’s never really been something I’ve focused on.”
In playoffs, his spot in the lineup dropped down due to the reinforcements from the Flames and unfortunately, he did not put up any points in the six post-season games. In his defence, he had gone from a top liner to a fourth line centre. Even though his spot had shifted in playoffs, he was still confident in the abilities of the team in their playoff run.
“It felt like we had a different lineup almost every night going through the regular season with injuries. We caught quite the injury bug but I do agree, I think we had our best lineup in the playoffs.”
Jones spoke to the media during Wranglers exit meetings about the season and the thoughts around how it ended. He said:
“Losing to the same team we did last year kind of still stings as well but that’s kind of life and us upsetting Tucson was a pretty high accomplishment as it was. So still can be happy about the year.”

The future

Ben Jones is 25 now and will become a group six unrestricted free agent this summer. He is the only forward on a two-way contract that will be a UFA. Management has seen the potential in Jones the last two summers to sign him to a one-year contract. Brad Treliving signed him in 2022 and Craig Conroy signed him in 2023. Jones did about everything he could to earn himself another contract. Will Conroy see a spot for him to re-sign him or will he get scooped up by another organization?
Jones is going to be a player who continues to prepare to be his best over the summer and would be a very welcome return to next season’s Wranglers squad and maybe even a candidate for a centring role at the NHL level depending on how he’s looking in the Fall. Let us hope we have not seen the last of number 18 in the Flaming W.

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