Rangers to sign Zac Jones to ELC, expected to play this season

The Rangers may not be making a trade today, but they’ve made a significant move. The Rangers will sign prospect Zac Jones to an ELC, and he is expected to play this season.

Jones was a star in the Frozen Four this year, winning the title with UMass. He stood out across the board. The interesting thing is that he will be burning the first year of his ELC and will join the Rangers immediately. Seems odd to burn the first year of his ELC, but perhaps it was needed to get him to sign for next season.

Update: Per Hockey Stat Miner, there was no difference between signing now and burning a year or signing next year. So this didn’t really factor into the decision.

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  • So they are going to burn a year of his ECL for 14 games??? SMH

    They must have a deal for Smith in the works.

    • The article states that “While Jones will technically ‘burn’ yr 1 of his ELC this season… it would have been an ELC with one lesser yerar had he waited to sign next year”. No difference contract length wise if he signs today, so why wait?

    • Actually they lose these 14 games with him if they wait till summer. He’s arbitration eligible in 2023 regardless. So they are getting as much out of his ELC as they can.

  • Another d man w no bite. Hopefully he works out and that this gives Hajek the big boot out the door finally. If there was a slim chance of tony d comeback this ends that also

  • I imagine they are figuring out who to trade. Fox, Lundqvist and Jones are all very similar.

    I can’t imagine them trading Fox. They must be trying to decide whether to trade Jones, Lundqvist or both in a trade for a center.

    Fox, Miller, Robertson, Lindgren, Schneider, Lundqvist, Jones–this is kind of ridiculous how stacked they are with young D and D prospects. This doesn’t even include lesser prospects like Skinner, Reunanen, Rykov and Hajek who have bottom pairing potential. Although I doubt Rykov ever sees the NHL, at this point. Seems like his progression died.

    Am I missing any other D prospects?

    • No need to be rushed about that ultimate decision … let the new kids come into camp and fight it out, no harm sending 1 or 2 of them down to Hartford — guessing Schneider … tough call between Jones and Robertson, as good as Jones has looked in College, Robertson has looked good in 2 camps.

  • Makes me wonder about Nils. What are they waiting for with him?

    Also makes me think B. Smith may be on the move today somehow.

    Something is up…

  • I am skeptical of the Hockey Stat Miner information. Zac Jones does not turn 21 until October, so I presume his signing age IF he were to sign next year would be 21. Twenty-one year olds get 3 yr ELCs (same as 20 yr olds). It does not diminish to two years until the age 22 season. So I think they are really losing a year by signing him early.

    • lol his arbitration rights are to start in year 2023 so they want to just let him play 14 games it would not have mattered

      • Arbitration only applies to RFAs. If his ELC does not expire until 2024, how can he get arbitration in 2023? And ELCs for 18-21 yr olds are for three years. (Jones will be 21 next year.)

        So your comment does not answer my question. It is just a loud “you’re wrong”.

    • I came to the comments thinking this exact same thing. If he were to sign after his Junior season next year and not even play in the NHL until fall 2022, wouldn’t his contract then still be 3 years (age 21 signing year in 2022) and would go from 2022-23 til 2024-25. In my mind we are killing 2 years by making this move. Any clarification here would be great.

  • I just wanted to say hi to you all and see if my handle still works after a three year hiatus. Hope you are all well and staying safe.

    I’ve been keeping up with our Rangers by reading BSB and all your comments. I kept saying to myself I need to get back to posting but it’s been so busy I just haven’t had the time. And those of you who remember me know, I usually have plenty to say so didn’t think I could keep up! 🙂

    Anyway, I’m going to try and ease my way back in. I’m really excited about what is being built here with our Rangers but obviously a long way to go before we really know if this group will one day be a legit future Stanley Cup Championship team or just another era of very good but not ultimately good enough talent that will ultimately fall short again.

    Did I see the other day that someone said Walt had passed away? If so I’m so sorry to hear that. He and I had some animated discussions but I always respected him and no one was more passionate about the Rangers.

    I hope all of you are well and that you and your families have gotten through this COVID crisis in good health.

    I look forwards to catching up and participating in spirited debates going forward!

    • Great to see you EEE, I’m happy to know that you’re healthy, there were quite a few people asking about you when you stopped posting, some of my earliest memories from this blog were the back and forth bantering between you and Walt, it was very entertaining.

      • They were good times and I’ll tell you, you had to be at the top of your game debating with the likes of Walt, as you all well know. Looking forward to our future discussions!

        • No doubt he was a tough one, another old time poster Fotiu is God, who I haven’t seen post in some time once described the conversations between the two of you as Walt coming out throwing haymakers and E3 slicing, dicing and dissecting, I look forward to your future posts!

    • Delighted to hear from you. Like me, you often say things people disagree with, but your comments have always been appreciated. [not for me to say whether or not the same is true of my comments]

    • E3 welcome back. Was wondering where you had gone.

      Yes, Walt passed away. His family reached out, said it was from COVID.

      • Thanks Dave….I’m just heartbroken to hear that. Especially knowing the way so many have suffered with this horrible disease. Was this recent?

        I will pray for him and his family.

        Things just got so busy for me, which is a good thing but between political coverage, COVID and a big sports project I’ve been working on, it’s been crazy. I kept saying for the past three years, today is the day I will post something and then it never happened. But I just want you to know I have been reading the BSB emails and it always puts a smile on my face. So glad to see so many familiar names out here and look forward to getting to know the folks I don’t know.

        I’ve been following the rebuild and watching a lot more this year, but I will largely be reading and not commenting as much…simply because I’m not as well versed on the prospects as others out here are. So I think I need to listen and learn before I say too much. But you know me….I won’t be quiet for long. 🙂

        Great to be back and so glad to see you’ve made such a success out of this site….well done!

    • Jesus, don’t do that to us ever again. Especially during a pandemic.

      Welcome back bro. Missed you.

        • We asked for you several times. We were sincerely concerned for you.

          But glad you’re back!! Hope you and your family are well.

          Sad to hear about Walt. RIP. 🙁

          • >But glad your back.
            Yes, same here, E3.

            Walt’s daughter said covid took him in 5 days. She also said it was kind of those here at BSB for the condolences. Funny how all the things Walt would bitch about (“play the kids”, etc) are finally coming to fruition. Wish he was around to see. RIP Walt. LGR!

    • Great to see EEE back – he has always been one of the few commenters who KNEW what he was talking about. Most refreshing!

    • Welcome back Eddie. A lot has transpired since you been away. AV was fired. He moved on to Philly to ruin another hockey team…..Cheers 🙂

      • Wow Bloomer, why not let the guy ease his way back into the blog after many a years absence without firing a shot across his bow at first sight, lol.

      • Bloomer! Great to see you.

        Wait, did you say AV is no longer coaching the Rangers? Wow! I really do need to catch up on things! 🙂

  • I’m in shock that people here actually see this as a negative or somewhat negative mood. This kid stated he would spend another year in College, that is always a risky move for any team as it puts the player 1 year away from possibly testing the free agent waters — I can only see the signing as a good thing, he’s locked up and in the fold. Worried about too many offensively gifted d’men in the system? Laughable. Options baby, options! This kid is Fox-lite … Lundkvist next. In a few years time they can decide if both belong in our Top 6, no need to decide now.

    • The wide range of reactions is amazing. It tells us that the Rangers thought he was worth signing. Bearing in mind that they signed Jake Elmer, it tells us very little actually. It tells us they see enough upside, that’s it. Hardly a guarantee he is an NHLer. I don’t want to criticize him, he does look promising. However, I would be very surprised if the Rangers actually hit on ALL of Lundqvist, Jones, Schneider, Skinner, Robertson. One or two really good ones would be nice.

      I still believe the Rangers are burning a year of ELC despite the HockeyStatMiner thing. However, Jones had some leverage, another year in college, and it is advantageous to get him ASAP. Also, perhaps giving up a year of ELC is better than offering performance bonuses, which burned the Rangers this year.

      • I don’t think there’s any issue, he’ll play in the NHL … the question is how good will he be. Will he be more like a Gilmour or more like a Fox? I’m betting on the latter because of his hockey IQ — the most important tool in the bag.

  • Good move. Lets the Rangers see what they have in him, and since they have many potentially excellent defensemen in the pipeline, the sooner they know what they have in everyone, the better off we’ll be.

    Someone will be traded, but it’s better if we know how good they are before doing so, rather than trading them as a “prospect with potential”.

    I’m super excited to see him and Miller reunited at some point soon.

  • As for Zac, he’s impressive. Loved what I saw of him in the Frozen Four. How his skill sets will translate is way beyond my pay grade. As to whether this is a good move to get him into the mix now, I trust Gorton and JD. Looking forward to seeing him play.

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