The New York Rangers have signed National Championship-winning defenceman Zac Jones to a three-year entry-level contract. Jones will report to the Rangers this week and burn the first year of his deal. News of the signing broke via the Ranger’s official Twitter account.
Another piece falls into place. ☑️
— New York Rangers (@NYRangers) April 13, 2021
Zac Jones Signed By the New York Rangers
Zac Jones finished his college career as a national champion with the UMass Minutemen in his sophomore year. UMass beat Minnesota Duluth and St Cloud State in the Frozen Four to win its first College Hockey Championship. Jones scored a powerplay goal in the semi-finals and finished his season with nine goals and 24 points in 29 games.
Additionally, Jones also helped his side win the Hockey East Conference this season. Other college accolades include finishing top of Hockey East’s rookie defenceman scoring in 2019-20; he then finished as the second-highest goal-scoring defenceman in the NCAA in his second and final year.
Drafted in the third round in 2019, the 5’10”, 172-pound defenceman becomes yet another member of a deep prospect pool in New York.
What This Means Going Forward
Jones’ signing means that the Rangers add another exciting defenceman to join the likes of Adam Fox and K’Andre Miller. Our prospect expert, Ben Kerr noted at the 2019 draft that Jones is “an offensive-minded defender who loves to join the rush and quarterback the powerplay.”
The signing of a 20-year-old college prospect just a day after standing pat at the trade deadline continues to reinforce the vision of this franchise. General manager, Jeff Gorton’s focus is clearly on staying the course and continuing the rebuild through a youth movement.
Finally, there is no mention of any performance-related bonuses in this deal. It will likely be avoided given the Rangers’ current bonus cushion penalties on the cap this year; according to CapFriendly, the team has a projected penalty of over $3.5 million for exceeding the player performance bonus ceiling.
*All stats sourced via Elite Prospects