26-Year-Old Defenseman – Washington Capitals
Aaron Ness Contract Information:
Signed a two-year, two-way contract with the Capitals in June 2016.
Ness was assigned to AHL Hershey on Sunday.
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RotoWire's Preseason Outlooks
There was no outlook written for Aaron Ness.
Ness played 20 games for the Islanders last season, potting his first NHL goal, adding two assists, but was a whopping minus-13. He will begin this season with Bridgeport of the AHL and could be called up eventually assuming he is playing well and the need arises on Long Island.
Ness is a solid defensive prospect for the Islanders but doesn't possess the upside to force the Islanders' hand. Rather than take a chance on some of their young prospects, the Isles have chosen to re-sign defensemen who have already proven themselves at the NHL level. Ness may also be passed on the depth chart by several of the Islanders' draft picks over the past couple of seasons.
There will always be doubts about Ness's abiltiy to play in the NHL due to his size. However, if he is able to take the pounding he could be a valuable player as he possesses all the skills to be a good offensive defenseman; he registered 27 points in 69 games at Bridgeport (AHL) last season. He will probably start the season in the AHL but will have as good a chance as anyone to make the NHL roster out of training camp.
Ness had his first taste of professional hockey last season, playing 13 games for Bridgeport of the AHL. He scored one goal and added three assists. The knock on Ness has always been his size, if he was bigger he would've gone much higher in the draft and may already be in the NHL, but scouts seem to doubt he could survive a full NHL season so he will have to prove them wrong at the AHL level before getting a chance with the big boys.
Size has always been an issue with Ness as he is only 5'10, 170 lbs. Certainly not big enough to play in the NHL. Over the past two seasons he has been playing college hockey at the University of Minnesota where he has only produced four goals in 76 games. Ness is unlikely to make the NHL anytime soon.
After an outstanding high school career, Ness attended the University of Minnesota last year and recorded 17 points in his freshman campaign (37 games). He will return in the Fall for his sophomore season.
Drafted in the second round of the 2008 draft, Ness heads to the University of Minnesota for his freshman year.