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Star Defenseman Leaving NCAA Hockey Champ UMass Early To Sign With NY Rangers

UMass defender Zac Jones has signed his deal with the New York Rangers. Photo Credit:
Star UMass defenseman Zac Jones is taking his talents to the New York Rangers. Photo Credit: UMass Hockey

Days after hoisting the NCAA Hockey Championship trophy, a star defenseman from UMass announced that he is taking his talents to the New York Rangers, where he hopes to raise Lord Stanley's Cup.

Sophomore defender Zac Jones, a star on the UMass team that won this year’s Frozen Four, a third-round pick for the Rangers in 2019, signed with the team this week, ending his collegiate career while he was still on top.

The 20-year-old Jones, who recorded 24 points in 29 games for UMass this season, signed a three-year entry-level contract that includes an $832,500 cap hit at the NHL level, or $70,000 in the AHL The signing also includes a $92,500 signing bonus.

Officials noted that there will be no COVID-19 quarantine for Jones, who was regularly tested before and during the Frozen Four championship, which left several of his teammates off the roster for the team’s championship run.

Jones, who was named to the Frozen Four All-Tournament team after having been named as an NCAA (East) second-team All American reportedly has already hit the ice with the Rangers, who have 14 games left in the regular season.

In his two years at UMass, Jones collected 12 goals, 35 assists (47 points), in 61 games, and was also a member of the Hockey East All-Rookie team as a freshman last year.

Before heading to college, Jones played for the Tri-City Storm of the United States Hockey League (USHL) where he was named the USHL Rookie of the Year in 2018-19,

Rangers head coach David Quinn said earlier this week that Jones could see the ice in those 14 games, saying that “he will get into the lineup when they feel he can make an impact.”

“It’s day by day, we’ll see how he adapts -see how he adjusts,” Quinn added. “There’s not a lot of practice time, so it’s going to be hard to evaluate him in a lot of ways at the pro level, but we’re going to do the best we can, and if we feel he gives us an indication he can help us, he’ll play.”

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