After 2 good seasons playing at Umass Amherst, Zachary Jones made his debut for the New York Rangers during the end of this past season. Although the production might not have been crazy, he was very solid during his 10 games. However, with the way it projects, he may not be the top guy for the Rangers.
What Zac Jones Has Done
After being drafted in the 3rd round (68th overall) in the 2019 draft, Zac Jones seemed to emerge into a top prospect for the Rangers while playing at Umass Amherst. During the 2019-20 season, Jones had 23 points over 32 games. Out of those points, he had 3 goals and 20 assists. He was also a +12 for Umass that year. This past season Jones tore it up. he had 24 points in 28 games, with 9 goals and 15 assists, while being a +16. He capped his season off by leading Umass Amherst to a national championship.
After winning the national championship, Jones was signed by the Rangers. After a few games, he was finally able to make his debut. He inherited a tough situation as the Rangers were beginning to fall off. Jones handled it well though and played a solid 10 games for the Rangers. He had 4 assists throughout those games and was a -2. Anyone who has watched him knows that the -2 doesn’t show how he actually played. Hopefully, Jones will be a mainstay in the Rangers lineup next season.
Is Jones a Future Top Guy?
As good as Jones is, the supporting cast around him might not make him seem like the main guy for the Rangers. The talent is there with Jones, but the top line for the near future is pretty much set with Ryan Lindgren and Adam Fox. Especially with Lindgren just getting signed to a 3 year 3 Mil AAV deal, he is going to remain with his linemate in Fox. The talent is there, but what’s around him can prevent Jones from reaching that point. He is also an offensive defenseman, and typically you don’t want to put 2 (Jones and Fox) on the same line.
Where does he fit in? I say he’s either going to be next to Jacob Trouba on the second line or a really good 5th defenseman. The guy that could turn Jones down to the 3rd pairing is K’Andre Miller. Overall Miller had a good season but he seemed to slow down towards the end of the season. So although he most likely won’t be on the first line, you can expect Jones to be getting quality ice time as a 3rd-5th defenseman, maybe with some power-play time too.