Today, the New York Rangers added Neal Pionk to their pipeline of young defenders. The team did not release the financial details, but it was a three-year entry-level deal. The Rangers are lucky to have landed this youngster, as up to twenty teams were scoping him out closely.
Interestingly, Pionk has a fine chance on making the team next year. He would instantly provide a cannon-like shot on the powerplay from the right side, which the team needs.
The Rangers honestly only have two solid options on the powerplay from the defensive pairings and they are both left-handed (Ryan McDonagh and Brady Skjei). Eventually overtime, maybe Pionk can pair with McDonagh, which would allow the team to put Skjei on the second powerplay unit. This would break up the left-handed duo.
The University of Minnesota-Duluth product played in 42 games this past season and recorded 34 points (seven goals, 27 assists). He was a big part on helping his team reach the championship game against the University of Denver.
Now, the 21-year-old defenseman is not the first defenseman added to the ranks. The team signed Alexei Bereglazov from the KHL and extended Steven Kampfer, which builds the depth up, as the team has struggled in the draft looking for defenders.
Finally, he joins an organization that will pretty much make the playoffs every season and that will allow him to develop and mature in a Ranger uniform.