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Zac Jones Signs Entry-Level Contract with New York Rangers

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The Rangers have added another young D prospect to their ranks.

2021 NCAA Division I Men’s Ice Hockey Championship Photo by Gregory Shamus/Getty Images

Zac Jones has decided to leave UMass and has signed an entry-level contract with the New York Rangers.

According to Mollie Walker, the deal includes a signing bonus, and comes in at a cap hit of $832,500 against the cap.

Additionally, Larry Brooks previously reported that Jones’ contract won’t include any performance bonuses.

This is important for the Rangers in the big picture, as they have a quite a few players on the roster already carrying big potential bonuses.

The Rangers drafted Jones 68th overall in the third round of the 2019 NHL Draft, and he leaves the NCAA with a pretty nice two-year resume.

The Rangers’ newest defenseman had a strong draft year in which he tallied 52 points in 56 games with the Tri-City Storm, and he followed that up with a strong freshman season with the UMass Minutemen which caused his stock to rise a bit as a Ranger prospect. In the 2019 BSB prospect rankings Jones finished 12th, and moved all the way up to 5th in 2020’s ranking.

The question at the time was whether or not he could do it again, and then he went out and was even better.

Jones played a primary role on the Minutemen this season, and head coach Greg Carvel had rave reviews about his potential at the NHL level.

Jones turns 21 in October, and turning pro now gives him an opportunity to show what he can do, although he will need to quarantine first.

UPDATE 11:36 a.m. : According to Rick Carpiniello, Jones skated with the team and does not need to quarantine.

In terms of NHL readiness, you never truly know how a player is going to react, and that’s something the Rangers are familiar with.

If the 2020-21 season’s start had not been delayed because the pandemic caused a pause of the 2019-20 season, there’s a chance K’Andre Miller may have started in the AHL. But when the season started in January he was with the Rangers and he’s made the most of his opportunity being one of the bright spots of the season. There’s always the chance Jones needs more time and ends up in the AHL next season to start, but there’s no guarantee of that. For now Jones is part of the fold, and it is another piece of the Rangers’ youth movement falling into place.