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Rangers Draft D Zac Jones in 3rd Rd. (68th) Pick


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Name: Zac Jones

Position: D

Shoots: L

Current Team: UMass (Amherst) / NCAA



He is adept at getting past the first layer of defense with a series of drags and dekes, helped along with quick hands, McKeen's Hockey 2019



Elite Prospects Profile: https://www.eliteprospects.com/player/364649/zachary-jones

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With their third-round pick (68th overall), the Rangers selected defenseman Zachary Jones. Jones, 18, skated in 56 games with the Tri-City Storm of the United States Hockey League (USHL) this past season, registering seven goals and 45 assists for 52 points, along with a plus-38 rating and 38 penalty minutes. He was named the USHL Rookie of the Year in 2018-19, and he was named to the USHL All-Rookie Team, as well as the USHL Second All-Star Team, this past season. Jones led the USHL in power play assists (25) and ranked fourth in the USHL in assists and plus/minus rating in 2018-19, and he led USHL rookies in all three categories. He also led all USHL defensemen in assists and tied for second among USHL defensemen in points during the season.


The 5-10, 175-pounder established a single-season Tri-City record for assists by a defenseman in 2018-19, and his 45 assists were the second-most by any Tri-City player in one season in the team's history (Jaden Schwartz registered 50 assists in 2009-10). Jones also played in the USHL/NHL Top Prospects Game during the 2018-19 season. He skated in six playoff games Tri-City during the past season and recorded five assists.


Prior to playing in the USHL, Jones played with Selects Hockey Academy in the United States Premier Hockey League (USPHL) for three seasons (2015-16 - 2017-18). He helped Selects Hockey Academy win the USPHL 16U Championship in 2015-16 and the USPHL 18U Championship in 2017-18, and he served as the captain of the Selects 18U Team in 2017-18. Internationally, the Richmond, Virginia native helped the United States win a gold medal at the 2018 World Junior A Challenge, and he recorded four points (one goal, three assists) in six games in the tournament.


Jones has committed to play collegiate hockey at UMass-Amherst beginning with the 2019-20 season.



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Excerpt from the 2019 Black Book


The fluidity and power of his skating did improve quite a bit over the course of the year - the problem was he started the season as an average slightly knock kneed skater. The speed of his leg churn became more impressive in the later months and he’s improved in terms of four-way mobility. His edges and agility have been a staple all year. He was relied upon as a puck carrier and power play quarterback for his team as a first-year player. The skill level also improved over the course of the season to the point that he could challenge players 1-on-1 and net some rewarding territory. He started adding some moves to his repertoire, including a deceptive stick flinch move to try to get a checker to shift his weight quickly so that Jones can go against the grain on him. There are other weapons for defenses facing Tri-City to contend with that may have given Jones a little bit more room than he’d have in other situations, but the creative improvement was a great sign.


He wasn’t counted on to shoot the puck much, he owns a decent wrist shot but nothing more than that. He really got thrown into the fire defensively and responded with really encouraging results. His stick positioning was strong. He learned how to close out plays that originate outside the dot line effectively later in the year and even found a few hip check attempts in the process. He competed in front and along the boards without getting bullied, but he obviously has a size disadvantage - his hockey strength is good though. We’re upbeat on his hockey sense as he can sniff out plays and anticipate pretty well. His sense of urgency and danger are a positive. Though his partner normally beats him to the punch, Jones doesn’t give up the offensive line quite so readily himself. He can fly in and knock a puck in deep while still having the recovery ability to field the rush defense if things go awry. He provides good partner support and outlet passes. His advancement over the year and his ability to babysit his partner for half a game was encouraging after an uneven start to the season from a skill perspective. Jones was recognized as the USHL Rookie of the Year and was a Second-Team All-Star.

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