New West acquires player with Bellies bloodlines

There will be a new father-son combo to write up in the New Westminster Salmonbellies’ history books.
The Western Lacrosse Association club swapped three draft picks to the Victoria Shamrocks last week and acquired the rights to Delta native Mitch Jones — son of former Bellies’ sniper Randy Jones.
The elder Jones was a dominant force at Queen’s Park in the mid-1980s and 1990s, winning two league scoring titles while tallying 214 goals in 228 regular season games. During the same time period his brother Paul — Mitch’s uncle — also patrolled the floor for New West. Both played the game with an edge.
Getting Mitch Jones on board was a project New West general manager Dan Richardson had been working on for a while.
“We talked off and on with Victoria about him and (Jones) clearly wanted to come back to the Lower Mainland after playing on a Mann Cup champion,” said Richardson. “Anytime you can add a big, 6-foot-2 body, a lefthander, we’ll talk.”
The 24-year-old one-time junior sniper is currently plying the transition side for the National Lacrosse League’s Buffalo Bandits, and sits fourth in team scoring with 11 goals and 13 assists in 10 games. Five of those goals came just two weeks ago in a 19-18 victory over Saskatchewan.
Last season with Victoria he tallied nine goals and 13 assists over 15 games, adding six goals and 10 assists during the playoffs and Mann Cup final.
A former linemate with Logan Schuss on the Delta junior Islanders, Jones will come to New West already with some chemistry and knowledge of the team’s style, said Richardson.
“He’s had good success in the past playing with (Schuss) in the junior ranks, and Logan spoke highly of him,” noted Richardson. “We put a lot of stock in what our players have to say, and from all accounts they will be a good tandem in New West.”
The cost to acquire Jones were a fifth round pick in 2017, a second round selection in 2018, and a fourth round pick in 2019.
Along with a Mann Cup ring, Jones went east for his last junior A season, winning a Minto title in 2012 with Orangeville.
He attended university on a hockey scholarship — playing for three seasons at the University of Northern Michigan.
There’s no doubt that he has something of the family, hard-nosed approach to sports, said Richardson.
“He goes to the dirty areas and isn’t afraid to cut through the middle,” he said. “Winning a Mann and Minto are great accomplishments, and we think his experience will play well here.”

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