SAN JOSE (KRON) — As the San Jose Sharks navigate the playoffs and vie for a spot in the Stanley Cup finals, here’s a look at the team’s goaltender, 29-year-old Martin Jones.
A native of Canada and the son of a Vancouver Canucks’ executive, Jones was immersed in the world of hockey at an early age — something he says helped encourage his success in the sport.
Rise to Success
As a teen, Jones played in the Quebec International Pee-Wee Hockey Tournament with a Vancouver minor ice hockey team, quickly rising in the the amateur ranks at a young age.
Jones began his hockey career in 2005 as a fourth-round draft pick with the Calgary Hitmen, a junior ice hockey team in Canada.
He officially joined the team in the 2006-2007 season, serving as a backup player for two seasons. In 2008, the rookie went undrafted despite being eligible for the NHL’s entry draft. Regardless, Jones was offered a tryout with the Los Angeles Kings — and secured a three-year contract with the Southern California team.
Jones spent three seasons with the King’s affiliate, the Manchester Monarchs, before his inaugural NHL debut with the Kings on Dec. 3, 2013.
That Dec. 3, 2013 game against the Anaheim Ducks went on to be the first of eight straight wins to begin his career.
Jones made his debut with the Sharks in June 2015.
In his first season with San Jose, Jones ranked third in the league for wins, with 37. He also helped lead the team to its first appearance ever in the Stanley Cup finals and secured back-to-back shutouts against the St. Louis Blues.
Despite past successes, Jones went into the postseason this year with the lowest save record of any starter on a playoff team — regardless, the Sharks never showed any doubt in its goaltender.
Though at times it was a rough season for the 29-year-old goalie, the Sharks coach continued to have confidence in Jones and his role on the team.
“They should have a stat that says believe in your goaltender,” coach Peter DeBoer told the AP in April. “If they had that stat, Jonesy would be batting a thousand with our group. There’s not one mumble or whisper in our group about him or our confidence in him to get the job done. That’s the one analytic stat I can give you guys that maybe you don’t have access to.”
Jones has thrived in the postseason in years past — earning a .926 playoff career save percentage, securing the sixth best save record in NHL history among goalies with 40 or more starts. That past postseason success may have fueled his team’s confidence in him, but something still seemed to be missing this season, according to the AP.
Jones went on to finish this year’s regular season with a .896 save percentage — ranking 52nd in the league out of 56 goaltenders, a clear difference compared to his past playoff record.
Jones is sticking around on the Sharks for many years to come — just two years ago, he signed a six-year, $34.5 million extension contract with the team.
The Sharks take on the St. Louis Blues in Game 3 on Wednesday at 5 p.m.
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