The New York Rangers announced on Tuesday morning that they’re agreed to terms with defensemen Zac Jones on a three-year, entry-level contract.
Looking back on his career thus far, the left-handed shooter has an impressive resume. In 29 games with UMass this season, Jones has recorded nine goals along with 15 assists, amassing 24 points. He helped UMass win the National Championship and was named to the NCAA (East) Second All-American team this season. Not only that, he was also named to the Hockey East Second All-Star Team and the Frozen Four All-Tournament Team, while helping UMass clinch the Hockey East Championship this season.
According to the Rangers team press release, Jones ranks second among defensemen in goals, is ranked third among defensemen in points, tied for third among defensemen in shots on goal and is tied for eighth among defensemen in assists this season.
Jones has had a brisk rise, and in my opinion, one of the best prospects seen to date. Jones is a great defensemen and doesn’t make very many mistakes, if at all. His head coach at UMass, Greg Carvel, compared him to Adam Fox, saying, “He’s getting physically stronger. He’s an outstanding college player and will be in the NHL someday.”
The Rangers selected Jones 68th overall in the draft’s third round back in 2019. According to Mollie Walker of the New York Post, Jones’ ELC, which he signed on Tuesday, also includes a pretty hefty signing bonus. That being said, however, his contract does not include any performance bonuses. By leaving UMass and opting to start his pro path early, this prevented him from becoming a UFA in two years.
The American has since skated with the team, which was not indicative upon a mandated quarantine. This allowed for team management to start evaluating him and there is no known timetable as to when he will play.