Born April 15, 1971 in Cheektowaga, New York and regarded as a highly-touted player from The Nichols School in Buffalo, Jason Zent was the third selection, 44th overall, of the NY Islanders in the 1989 Entry Draft. He was also a member of the 1990 United States Olympic Festival Team and the 1990 United States National Junior team where he was the only high school player with that honour.
Zent spent four years (1990-1994) at the University of Wisconsin studying Business Management and as a member of the Wisconsin Badgers hockey team. While earning 1990-91 All-WCHA Rookie Team honours in his freshman year, the Badgers leading goal scorer in 1991-92 tied for the team lead in points and led them to the 1992 NCAA Frozen Four Final against Lake Superior State. After falling short in their attempt to capture their sixth NCAA Championship, the Badger sophomore was named to the All-Tournament Team.
Having never played for the team that originally drafted him (NY Islanders-1989), Zent was traded to the Ottawa Senators in the fall of 1994 where he spent his first two professional seasons as a member of the Prince Edward Island Senators of the AHL. Zent played his first NHL game in the 1996-97 season with the Ottawa Senators before being re-assigned to the AHL.
In 1997-98, Zent suited up for three different teams–the Ottawa Senators of the NHL, the Worcester IceCats of the AHL, and the Detroit Vipers of the now defunct IHL. Zent signed as a free agent with the Philadelphia Flyers in the summer of 1998, but spent the better part of the 1998-99 season with the Philadelphia Phantoms of the AHL. He was called up and suited up for two regular season games with the Flyers.
Following the 1999-2000 season, Jason Zent had accounted for three goals and six points in 27 career NHL games.