Zac Jones

The Rangers have re-signed RFA defenseman Zac Jones to a 2 year contract with an $812,500 cap hit, per PuckPedia. Jones was coming off his ELC where he played 16 games in the NHL this season, putting up a goal and an assist on the third pair. He primarily played with Braden Schneider, but was often shackled with the Rangers fourth line. He has put up 30 points in each of his two half-seasons with the Hartford Wolf Pack.

Re-signing Jones is a good step in the right direction in adding a much needed puck moving presence to the Rangers blue line, should Jones make the team. It is rumored that one of the key rifts between Chris Drury and Gerard Gallant was over Jones. Drury clearly likes the kid and his game, as noted by the extension, while Gallant didn’t want Jones to learn on the job to cover some of his defensive issues.

Jones was one of the top puck movers in the AHL, and his defensive game looks to have improved, as noted by that 99th percentile in xGA from Jacob Stoller. Jones likely has the inside track to the 3LD spot now with Peter Laviolette at the helm, but he will have good competition from Matthew Robertson.