The New York Rangers have announced that they’ve signed NCAA defenseman Zac Jones to a standard three-year, entry-level contract. The New Jersey Devils are working on a contract with 2020 first-round pick Alexander Holtz after his season in Sweden came to an end. Winnipeg Jets prospect Cole Perfetti is starting to heat up in the American Hockey League after recording his third straight multi-point game.
Rangers Sign Defenseman Zac Jones
The Rangers announced that they’ve agreed to a standard three-year, entry-level contract with defenseman Jones. Drafted 68th overall in the 2019 NHL Entry Draft, he spent the 2019-20 season as a freshman at The University of Massachusetts Amherst, where he amassed three goals and 20 assists for 23 points in 32 games played and was named to the NCAA (Hockey East) All-Rookie Team. This past season Jones recorded nine goals and 15 assists for 24 points in 29 games played. He ranked second among NCAA defensemen in goals, third among NCAA defensemen in points, and tied for third among NCAA defensemen in shots on goal with 84.
THW’s Adam Naclerio outlined Jones’ skillset in an article focusing on the surplus of young defensive talent in the Rangers’ system.
Jones is a left-handed shot, and with his offensive prowess and playstyle, he seems to be a future potential pairing with Schneider. He has good vision, is very creative, and can snap breakout passes at a high level. He is constantly improving his all-around game and will look to prove to 30 other NHL teams why he should not have slipped to the third round.
He helped UMass win their first National Championship in school history last week. He was named to the NCAA (Championship) All-Tournament Team, NCAA (East) Second All-American Team and NCAA (Hockey East) Second All-Star Team. He’ll likely jump right into the Rangers’ lineup that features two former standout NCAA alumni in Adam Fox and K’Andre Miller.
Devils Working On Holtz Contract
Devils’ prospect Holtz saw his season come to an end last week as Djurgårdens IF were eliminated from the Swedish Hockey League playoffs. The Swedish sniper finished the 2020-21 season with seven goals and 11 assists for 18 points in 40 games played. He had two goals and two assists for four points in three playoff games to end his season. He represented Sweden at the 2021 World Junior Championship and recorded one goal and two assists for three points in five games played.
THW’s Mathieu Sheridan wrote about Holtz’s potential fit in the Devils’ organization after he has drafted in the 2020 NHL Entry Draft.
The Devils make a great selection with their first of three picks on the night. They already have really solid players in Jack Hughes, Nico Hischier and Ty Smith, so adding a guy like Holtz will only make the team better. In Holtz, the Devils get a player who will eventually be able to play on the top power-play unit. He is able to get the puck off in a hurry and with someone like Hughes feeding him the puck, the league will soon take notice. The Devils should be really excited to be able to welcome him to the organization and fans will be mentioning his name for a long time to come.
We’ve seen a number of top prospects make their way to the NHL or AHL over the past few weeks, and Holtz would certainly draw some excitement if he were to make his NHL debut this season. The Devils are waiting for Nico Hischier to return from injury, and being able to add both Holtz and Hischier to a young Devils’ lineup will certainly give their fans optimism for the end of the 2020-21 season.
Perfetti Records Third Straight Multi-Point Game
Jets’ prospect Perfetti has started to heat up for the Manitoba Moose in the AHL. He recorded his third straight multi-point game with two goals and one assist in the Moose’ 5-1 victory over Belleville on Monday. He now has two goals and five assists for seven points over his last three games played. He ranks second on the Moose in scoring with six goals and 11 assists for 17 points in 24 games played.
Drafted 10th overall in the 2020 NHL Entry Draft, Perfetti spent the 2019-20 season in the Ontario Hockey League with the Saginaw Spirit, amassing 37 goals and 74 assists in 61 games played. He finished second in league scoring, trailing only Wild prospect Marco Rossi, and represented Canada at the 2021 World Junior Championship, winning a silver medal and recording two goals and four assists in seven games played.
THW’s Josh Kim had this to say about Perfetti’s skill set after he was drafted by the Jets in October:
What makes Perfetti so dangerous is his lethal shot and offensive ability. A pure goalscorer, the Whitby-native showed consistent signs of brilliance all throughout his two seasons with the Spirit, and he’s been on the uptick ever since. Nearly doubling his assist totals from the previous season, Perfetti has proven that he can distribute and make plays just as much as he can fill the net.
With a 2020-21 OHL season in doubt, we could see Perfetti stick with the Moose for the remainder of the 2020-21 AHL season. The Jets’ are going to be a playoff team, but if they have a spot locked up near the end of the season, we might see Perfetti get his NHL debut sooner rather than later.
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