Peterborough Petes’ goalie Hunter Jones is one step closer to the NHL after signing a three-year, entry-level contract with the Minnesota Wild.
The Wild’s general manager, Bill Guerin, announced the signing on Thursday. Jones, a native of Brantford, Ont., was the Wild’s second-round selection (59th overall) in the 2019 NHL Entry Draft held in Vancouver. He also attended the Wild’s development and training camps in 2019.
Jones, a six-foot-four-inch, 198-pound netminder, appeared in 49 games for the Petes in the 2019-20 season, earning a 2.75 goals against average, 0.913 save percentage, and 31-14-2-1 record that included four shutouts.
He was named the OHL Goaltender of the Month for October 2019 and played for Team OHL in the 2019 CIBC Canada Russia Series.
Jones is the first Pete to be drafted by the Wild, but joins 2000-03 Petes’ alumnus Eric Staal in Minnesota’s system.
“It’s a pretty exciting day — my phone is blowing up and I’m sure I’ll make it through,” he told Pondcast, the Wild’s official podcast stream. “It’s obviously the first step in getting to play for the Wild and getting into their system. I’ve been working for this ever since I got drafted last summer.”
Jones said throughout the regular season, the Wild was keeping tabs on his play and progress.
The Canadian Hockey League announced on Monday announced the cancellation of the remainder of junior hockey’s regular season, playoffs and the Memorial Cup championship.
Jones called the cancellations “bittersweet” but said the signing was the “sweetest thing” he’s had in a long time.
“It’s pretty surreal,” he said.