Aaron Ness didn't crack the NHL last season for the first time since 2014-15.

But the former Roseau (Minn.) High School standout had perhaps its best pro season, leading the American Hockey League in both points and assists by a defenseman.

Ness has parlayed that season into a new contract with a new team.

Ness signed a two-year deal with the Arizona Coyotes on Monday as the NHL's free agency period opened. If Ness is in the NHL, he'll make $700,000.

Ness spent the last four seasons with the Washington Capitals organization. He played 18 games in the NHL during those three seasons, while starring for the AHL's Hershey Bears.

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Last season was his best. He earned second-team all-AHL honors.

Prior to joining Washington's organization, Ness spent four years with the New York Islanders organization, playing 29 games for the Isles.

Ness played three seasons of college hockey at Minnesota after leading Roseau to a Minnesota state title in 2007.