It was announced today that the New York Rangers have signed 22-year-old defenseman Zac Jones to a 2-year contract extension with a cap hit of $812,500. Jones made the main roster at the start of last season before being demoted back to the AHL with the Hartford Wolf Pack. This team-friendly extension serves as a bridge deal for the Rangers’ young blueliner to crack the NHL roster before getting a big financial commitment from a cap-strapped team.
Jones could only grab one goal and one assist in 16 games last season before being sent back down in favor of Ben Harpur. He did manage to find some confidence and play really well when he got back to Kris Knoblauch and the Hartford Wolf Pack and that turn of the player saw him really step into the PAck lineup as they would get past the Providence Bruins in the first round of the Calder Cup Playoffs.
Whether or not Jones can earn a roster spot next year is still in the air. After the deadline move to pick up Niko Mikkola from the St Louis Blues, it’s clear to see that the Rangers were not completely happy with what Ben Harpur was giving them on the third defensive pairing. If Jones’ improvements in the AHL can follow him into training camp, under a new system with a new coach in Laviolette, he could very well make the team again.
This is the kind of contract the Rangers are going to need a ton of in their current cap situation because it is so cheap/ If it does wrong, it can be completely buried in the minors. Jones is still waiver exempt so this is a very no-risk deal. It’s a good deal from the Rangers’ perspective because there is no downside. If this goes wrong, it can be buried or dealt away without any concern for the salary cap.