Rangers’ third-round pick in 2019 NHL Entry Draft signs entry-level contract
NEW YORK, April 13, 2021 – The New York Rangers announced today that the team has agreed to terms with defenseman Zac Jones on an entry-level contract.
Jones, 20, skated in 29 collegiate games with UMass this season, registering nine goals and 15 assists for 24 points, along with a plus-17 rating and eight penalty minutes. He helped UMass win the National Championship in 2020-21.Jones was named to the NCAA (East) Second All-American Team this season, as well as the Hockey East Second All-Star Team and the Frozen Four All-Tournament Team, and he also helped UMass win the Hockey East Championship during the season. He ranked second among NCAA defensemen in goals, ranked third among NCAA defensemen in points, tied for third among NCAA defensemen in shots on goal (84), and tied for eighth among NCAA defensemen in assists this season. Among NCAA defensemen who were either a freshman or sophomore in 2020-21, Jones ranked first in points and shots on goal, ranked second in goals, and tied for third in assists. He ranked second on UMass in shots on goal, ranked third in assists, tied for third in points, and tied for fourth in goals in 2020-21.
The 5-11, 185-pounder skated in 61 career collegiate games over two seasons with UMass (2019-20 and 2020-21), registering 12 goals and 35 assists for 47 points, along with a plus-29 rating and 32 penalty minutes. Over his two seasons in the NCAA, Jones ranked third among defensemen in points, ranked fourth among defensemen in assists, and tied for seventh among defensemen in goals. In addition, among NCAA defensemen who were in their U21 season or younger over the last two seasons, he ranked first in points and assists, and tied for third in goals. Jones was named to the Hockey East All-Rookie Team as a freshman in 2019-20, as he led NCAA freshmen in assists (20) and shots on goal (89), ranked second among NCAA freshmen in points per game (0.72), and ranked third among NCAA freshmen in points (23) during the season.
Prior to beginning his collegiate career, Jones played one season with the Tri-City Storm in the United States Hockey League (USHL); he was named the USHL Rookie of the Year in 2018-19, and he led all defensemen in the league in assists during the season. Internationally, the Richmond, Virginia native represented the United States at the 2020 IIHF World Junior Championship and recorded two points (one goal, one assist) in five games in the tournament. Jones also helped the United States win a gold medal at the 2018 World Junior A Challenge.
Jones was selected by the Rangers in the third round, 68th overall, of the 2019 NHL Entry Draft.