Peyton Jones, who started in goal for Penn State and before that Holy Ghost Pep, has agreed to a two-year, one-way contract with the American Hockey League’s Colorado Eagles, beginning with the 2020-21 season. The team announced the signing Monday afternoon.
Colorado was granted membership as an expansion team in the AHL beginning with the 2018-19 season and is the affiliate of the Colorado Avalanche.
“We are extremely happy for Peyton,” mentioned head coach Guy Gadowsky. “Through an incredible level of commitment to improving every day as an athlete and a student, Peyton has done so much for the success of our hockey program and has set standards that we hope are lived up to for many years to come. Congratulations to Peyton, we are excited to see his future successes.”
Jones jumped right into the starting role between the pipes as a freshman becoming the program’s first-ever everyday goalie following four years where goalies saw split time in Hockey Valley. The Langhorne, Pennsylvania native seized the opportunity and never looked back graduating from Penn State with 14 program records.
Jones, Penn State’s all-time wins leader, bookended his time as a Nittany Lion with victories in his first and last games at Pegula Ice Arena. He registered a 76-44-11 career record including a single-season record 23 during his freshman campaign where he was named the Big Ten Tournament’s Most Outstanding Player as the Nittany Lions captured their first-ever tournament title. His 42 career Big Ten victories are also a conference standard.
The senior is the Penn State career leader for games played and games started by a goalie with 133 for his career as well as leading in minutes (7866:20), saves (3,685) and points/assists by a goalie with eight. Along with his single-season program record for wins, Jones also holds single-season standards in games started (36), saves (983), points/assists (4) and shutouts (2).
During his final season in Hockey Valley this past year, Jones registered career-highs with a .919 save percentage, ranking fourth in the Big Ten and 21st nationally, to go along with a 2.60 goals against average while posting a 18-9-3 record and leading the Nittany Lions to their first-ever Big Ten regular-season championship. Jones’ .919 save percentage and 2.60 goals against average are both the second-best single-season marks in program history.
“Penn State has prepared me well for my pro hockey career,” mentioned Jones. “The coaching staff has done a great job with getting me stronger and ready for the next level off the ice while on the ice I was fortunate enough to have some extremely talented teammates who challenged me to be my best every day.”
Gump Whiteside coached Jones at Holy Ghost where Jones had a presence about him even as a freshman and even earlier when Jones was playing at the middle-school level.
Whiteside said Jones’s success could be attributed to his mental discipline and work ethic as well as his physical abilities. “Making it in the AHL, at a high level, is tough for a goaltender. It’s a little easier for forwards and defensemen. That just goes to show you about his work ethic.”