FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE:
Wednesday, August 3, 2005 GLENDALE, ARIZONA
--- Phoenix Coyotes General Manager Michael Barnett announced today that the Coyotes have signed defenseman Matt Jones to a two-year contract. As per club policy, terms of the contract were not disclosed.
Last season, the 6-foot-0, 215-pound Jones played in 45 games in 2004-05 for the University of North Dakota (Western Collegiate Hockey Association), registering 6 goals, 11 assists, 17 points and 66 penalty minutes (PIM). As an assistant captain in his senior season, the 21-year-old led North Dakota to the 2005 NCAA Frozen Four championship game, which North Dakota lost to the University of Denver 4-1. Jones was named a third team 2004-05 All-WCHA selection.
"Matt is a strong two-way defenseman with good offensive skills," said Coyotes assistant general manager Laurence Gilman. "He had an excellent four-year career at the University of North Dakota and we are pleased to have him join our organization."
In four seasons with North Dakota, Jones collected 16-36-52 and 152 PIM while playing in 162 of a possible 166 games. Jones only missed four games in his North Dakota career with those four games coming as a result of his playing for Team USA at the 2003 World Junior Championships.
The Downers Grove, Illinois native was named to the All-WCHA Second Team, the WCHA Final Five All-Tournament Team and the All-WCHA Academic Team following the 2003-04 season when he set career highs in goals (7), assists (14) and points (21). Over his final three seasons at North Dakota, Jones led the Fighting Sioux to the fewest goals allowed (tied) in the WCHA during that span.
Jones was originally drafted by the Coyotes in the third round (80th overall) of the 2002 NHL Entry Draft.