Neal Pionk Signs with Winnipeg Jets

Neal Pionk
COLUMBUS, OH - JANUARY 13: Neal Pionk #44 of the New York Rangers controls the puck during the game against the Columbus Blue Jackets on January 13, 2019 at Nationwide Arena in Columbus, Ohio. (Photo by Kirk Irwin/Getty Images)

The Winnipeg Jets have signed restricted free agent defenceman Neal Pionk to a two-year contract worth $6 million, or $3 million per season. This contract carries him through the 2020-21 season.

Jets Sign Neal Pionk

The good-skating defenceman that can play both ends of the ice has only played for the New York Rangers in his two-year NHL career. He is a smaller player, but has improved in his first two pro seasons. Pionk had six goals and 20 assists for 26 points in 73 games. He added 35 penalty minutes this season.

His Corsi was 43.9 and had a relative Corsi of -3.5. The Hermantown, Minn. native has seven goals and 33 assists for 40 points in 101 career games. He was signed as an undrafted free agent out of the University of Minnesota-Duluth.

The 23-year-old was acquired in a June 17 trade with the Jets for Jacob Trouba. Winnipeg also got back the 20th pick that they gave to New York as part of the Kevin Hayes deal. The Jets used the selection from the trade to select Finnish blue-liner Ville Heinola. New York signed Trouba for seven years and $56 million, with an $8 million salary cap hit for the upcoming season.

What This Means for the Future

Pionk could will the void left by the departure of Tyler Myers and will be part of a drastically different defence with Trouba on Broadway.

Winnipeg still has to sign restricted free agents Patrik Laine and Kyle Connor to new contracts. Pionk was schedule for an arbitration hearing on July 24, but that is no longer an issue since a deal has been reached. Andrew elected to go to arbitration.

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