The Rangers have announced that they have signed defenseman Neal Pionk out of the University of Minnesota Duluth.
Pionk, 21, had seven goals and 27 assists in 42 games as a sophomore this past season and is 6-0, 190.
From the Rangers release, "He established collegiate career-highs in several categories in 2016-17, including games played, goals, assists, points, and plus/minus rating. In addition, Pionk helped Minnesota Duluth win the National Collegiate Hockey Conference (NCHC) Championship, and he also helped the team advance to the Frozen Four and the National Championship Game."
Pionk was named to the NCHC Second All-Star Team and the NCHC All-Tournament Team this past season and was named United States Hockey League's Defenseman of the Year in 2014-15.
He left Minnesota-Duluth after his sophomore season and said that the opportunity to turn pro was too good for him to pass up. (Duluth News Tribune)
He is a right handed shot and skated at the Blackhawks prospect camp last summer.
Elliotte Friedman tweeted that signing "Pionk" was a "coup" for the Rangers and that there was a lot of interest in him.
Craig Custance tweeted in February that about 20 teams were interested in signing Pionk.