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New York Rangers Assign Zac Jones, Lauri Pajuniemi, and Justin Richards to Hartford Wolf Pack

Tampa Bay Lightning v New York Rangers Photo by Bruce Bennett/Getty Images

Zac Jones, Lauri Pajuniemi, and Justin Richards have been assigned to the Hartford Wolf Pack.

Jones is the only one of the three who appeared in a game, and in three games the Rangers’ rookie defender had a GF% of 25.06, a CF% of 30.68, and an xGF% of 36.97. It is an extremely small sample, but the move is likely tied to getting Jones ice time in Hartford. The Wolf Pack have games on Friday, Saturday, and Wednesday, and this gives Jones a chance to skate on the top pair with Nils Lundkvist.

The New York Rangers announced the assignment earlier this afternoon, and it could be a precursor to some players exiting the COVID-19 protocol. Julien Gauthier entered the protocol on January 7, Ryan Reaves entered on January 8, and Barclay Goodrow entered on January 10.

With tomorrow being January 15 all would be eligible to return as they have been isolating for five days or longer. This is also dependent on if they are no longer displaying symptoms and testing out. The full guidelines are listed here, and if all goes to plan, they’d be able to return to the active roster.

But even if players aren’t ready to return, New York is scheduled to take on the Philadelphia Flyers on Saturday at 7:00 p.m., and being back on the East Coast means the team doesn’t need to have as many reserves stashed between the active roster and taxi squad as they did on the recent trip out to California. In the event they need a last minute recall, it won’t take long to get someone to Philadelphia.

That said, we could get additionally information between now and puck drop on Saturday, so stay tuned.