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Jess Jones signs with Markham Thunder

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The 2016-17 Angela James Bowl winner is returning to the CWHL

Brampton, Canada,- Dec 12 2015 Brampton Thunder hosts Montreal Les Canadiennes in Canadian Women’s Hockey League action
Brampton, Canada,- Dec 12 2015 Brampton Thunder hosts Montreal Les Canadiennes in Canadian Women’s Hockey League action
John Morrison/Canadian Women’s Hockey League

Forward Jess Jones, who played four seasons with the then-Brampton Thunder before signing with the NWHL’s Buffalo Beauts last season, will be rejoining the now-Markham Thunder for the 2018-19 season.

Jones played NCAA hockey at Mercyhurst University, and was drafted by Brampton in 2013 after a year playing for HK Pantera Minsk of the EWHL. In her four seasons with the Thunder, she had 86 points in 95 regular-season games (43 goals and 43 assists, which is pleasingly symmetrical). Assuming nothing terribly unfortunate happens, she’ll play her 100th CWHL game with Markham this year. Her time in the CWHL was capped off by a 37-point season in 2016-17, good enough for a tie with Marie-Philip Poulin for the Angela James Bowl as the CWHL’s highest scoring player.

That offseason, Jones, as well as Thunder teammates Sarah Edney and Rebecca Vint, signed with the NWHL’s Beauts. Jones was unable to replicate her previous year’s success in Buffalo, scoring nine points in fourteen games over the regular season. With additions like Brooke Webster and Megan Bozek, the Thunder are a better team now than they were when Jones left for Buffalo. Will a return to familiar ground, and previous linemates like this year’s Jayna Hefford Trophy winner Jamie Lee Rattray, help Jones return to scoring form? That remains up in the air, but Thunder GM Chelsea Purcell is certainly doing her best to snap up quality free agents in the GTA area.