The New York Rangers should give Zac Jones a chance

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May 1, 2021; Uniondale, New York, USA; New York Rangers defender Zac Jones (6) is warming up before a game against the New York Islanders at the Nassau Veterans Memorial Coliseum. Mandatory Credit: Brad Penner-USA TODAY Sports

The New York Rangers promoted defender Zac Jones from their newly created taxi team on Monday. He currently serves as their seventh defender, but it would be a wise move to give him a fight soon.

Jones, 21, was selected by Blueshirts in the third round (68th overall) during the 2019 NHL Draft. After an excellent college career, he made his Blueshirts debut late last season and picked up 4 assists in 10 games. This season for Wolf Pack, he leads all defenders in scoring with 17 points in 21 games.

He has earned back for the club and he did so with the right attitude.

Zac Jones almost got the team out of the camp

“I’m coming in and trying to reach the team, I know it’s going to be difficult and I do not have a place,” Jones said during camp. “If I’m sent down to the AHL, it’s not going to be a big deal for me. I just want to work hard and get back to the NHL.”

The truth is, he always wanted to have a hard time getting on the team for the opening night because he got caught up in a number game. Head coach Gerard Gallant admitted the same thing after completing the list.

“Jonesy did nothing wrong,” Gallant said after Jones was sent to the AHL. “He has played well and it’s about numbers and how many you can keep on your list. Everything Jonesy has done in camp was excellent. He is going in the right direction, and again, Lundkvists has also played very good hockey. ”

All the way back to last season, Jones has shown that he has the confidence and the right attitude to play in the NHL. When Jones entered the camp, Jones was clever enough to see the writing on the wall with five spots out of six essentially locked. He knew that it would be a fight between him and the loudly proclaimed Swedish customer Nils Lundkvist. Yet he was not deterred.

The only thing the child did in the training camp was unique. He also made it clear, just before he was sent down, that he knows where he belongs. “I think I deserve to play in the NHL,” Jones explained. “If I’m sent down, I’m not going to complain about it … I want to go down there and work as hard as I can to get back to the NHL.”

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Jones deserves the opportunity

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April 22, 2021; New York, New York, USA; Zac Jones # 6 of the New York Rangers takes the puck in the first period against the Philadelphia Flyers in Madison Square Garden. Mandatory credit: Elsa / POOL PHOTO-USA TODAY Sports

Jones is not a great physical defender, but his skating and puck mobility give him a huge advantage on the ice. In addition, he has something very important on the way for him, and that is high hockey IQ.

I know what hockeyIQ is? Is there a test? Can you see his characters? In short, Jones seems to know where the puck is and his relationship to it at all times. He has even drawn comparisons with Adam Fox, and not just because they are basically the same exact size.

His UMASS head coach, Greg Carvel, had some brilliant remarks about him before signing his ELC. “He’s a high-end offensive player – he wants to be a player similar to Adam Fox in New York,” he said. “He’s getting stronger physically. His growth without the puck over the last two years has been unique. He’s an excellent college player and he’ll be in the NHL one day.”

Eventually, Gallant was very impressed with him, and he conveyed the feelings of the entire organization. “He’s a young player, we like him a lot, and he’s going to be in New York a lot,” he said. “But with the depth we have on the blue line, we have to make some difficult decisions, and that was a tough one.”

Now the hope is that Gallant sees enough from him in training to give him a shot.

Who knows, maybe Jones impresses so much that he will never see Hartford again.

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