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Photo Credit: © Tim Fuller-USA TODAY Sports

Jets Sign Defenseman Neal Pionk To Two Year Deal

The Winnipeg Jets and Neal Pionk have agreed to a two year, six million dollar deal late Sunday afternoon, thus avoiding an arbitration case that was set to take place on Wednesday. The average annual value of the deal is worth three million for each season.

The contract will actually see Pionk being paid a little bit more in the second year than he will be in the first.

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Pionk was acquired by the Jets along with their original first round draft pick (20th overall which ended up being Ville Heinola) in the June 17 trade of Jacob Trouba to the New York Rangers.

The Rangers signed Pionk back in May 2017 as an undrafted free agent. In 101 games played he has 40 points, but as we explained a month ago when the Jets traded for the 24 year old defenseman, those stats told only a small part of what has been a bit of a frustrating story for him…

“The base stats of Pionk look very promising. Being able to score 26 points during his first season is quite impressive. The added benefit is that he’s still fairly young and might have some room to grow in his abilities.

When looking past the base stats, the picture starts to get a little darker. According to moneypuck.com, Pionk finished third last among all Rangers players this season with an on-ice xGoals% of 45.2%. In addition, naturalstattrick.com had Pionk as the worst Rangers defensemen in scoring chance percentage with 43.84%. The simplistic way to say this is that Pionk gets out-shot and out-chanced at a high rate when he is on the ice.”

Neal Pionk Career NHL Stats
Season Age GP G A PTS +/- PIM S S% TSA ATOI BLK HIT TK GV
2017-18 22 28 1 13 14 -1 12 54 1.9 105 22:23 41 49 13 33
2018-19 23 73 6 20 26 -16 35 132 4.5 245 21:10 98 138 38 60
Career 101 7 33 40 -17 47 186 3.8 350 21:30 139 187 51 93

Provided by Hockey-Reference.com: View Original Table

Neal Pionk Career Advaced NHL Stats
Season GP TOI CF CA CF% CF% rel FF FA FF% FF% rel oiGF oiSH% oiGA oiSV% PDO oZS% dZS%
2017-18 28 526.2 417 578 41.9 -6.3 313 446 41.2 -6.3 20 8.4 23 93.1 101.6 39.3 60.7
2018-19 73 1224.9 1001 1279 43.9 -3.5 772 965 44.4 -2.9 46 8.5 64 90.8 99.3 44.5 55.5
Career 101 1751.1 1418 1857 43.3 -4.3 1085 1411 43.5 -3.9 66 8.5 87 91.5 100.0 42.8 57.2

 


As far as the Salary Cap goes, the Jets still have some work ahead of them in terms of what Andrew Copp will get – we should expect a decision in a day or so if the two sides can’t come to an agreement much like the Jets and Pionk have done – as well as of course Patrik Laine and Kyle Connor.

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