Neal Pionk

Neal Pionk

26-Year-Old DefensemanD
Winnipeg Jets
2021 Fantasy Outlook
With 32 points in 54 contests, Pionk had a reasonable scoring output in 2020-21. What sets the 26-year-old apart from some of his fellow blueliners is his prolific hitting output -- he had 137 last year, and he's topped the century mark three years running. Those types of numbers would usually be more associated with a shutdown defenseman, but Pionk is an obvious scoring threat, especially when he receives top-unit power-play time, which he had to compete with Josh Morrissey for last year. Given a full season, Pionk should push for 40-plus points, 150-plus hits and 80 blocked shots while skating in a top-four role for the Jets, a team very much poised to be steady defensively first and foremost. The additions of Nate Schmidt and Brenden Dillon in the offseason could free up Pionk for more scoring production. Read Past Outlooks
$Signed a four-year, $23.5 million contract with the Jets in August of 2021.
Productive in loss
DWinnipeg Jets
October 16, 2021
Pionk notched an assist, four hits, two blocked shots and four PIM in Saturday's 4-3 loss to the Sharks.
ANALYSIS
Pionk earned the secondary helper on Pierre-Luc Dubois' first-period tally. Beyond that, Pionk had a strong all-around game from a fantasy perspective. The 26-year-old defenseman is locked in with a top-four role and power-play time. Fantasy managers will appreciate his physical effort as well -- he's already posted eight hits and six PIM in two games, and he's logged over 100 hits in three years running.
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NHL Stats
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2020
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2017
2021 NHL Game Log
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2020 NHL Game Log
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2019 NHL Game Log
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2018 NHL Game Log
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2017 NHL Game Log
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2021–22 Time On Ice Stats
  • Average Time On Ice:
    19:32
  • Average Power Play TOI:
    3:32
  • Average Short-Handed TOI:
    2:20
 
Ice Time
Power Play
Short-Handed
2019–20
23:23
2:56
0:54
2020–21
21:57
2:05
0:46
2021–22
19:32
3:32
2:20
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Past Fantasy Outlooks
2020
2019
2018
There was a reason the Jets wanted Pionk as part of the Jacob Trouba deal last summer, and the offensively-gifted blueliner paid dividends for the club by setting career highs in assists (39), points (45) and shots on goal (177) last season. Additionally, the dynamic youngster logged 2:56 of power-play ice time per game, which enabled him to rack up 25 of his 45 points with the man advantage. Heading into the 2020-21 campaign, Pionk is unlikely to unseat Josh Morrissey as the preferred defenseman with the No. 1 power-play unit in 2020-21, but he should still see plenty of opportunities with the second group. At just 24 years of age, the Nebraskan is just entering his prime and could set even higher personal bests during the upcoming campaign unless there's another shortened season.
Pionk has shown some promise offensively with 40 points in 101 NHL games, but he's also struggled mightily in his own zone and owns a minus-17 rating. Getting traded from the Rangers to the Jets in the offseason will result in a reduced role for Pionk after he averaged 21:10 of ice time last season, but he'll also benefit from playing sheltered minutes on one of the league's most talented teams. While Pionk's scoring ability is intriguing, his shortcomings in the defensive end will make it tough for him to carve out anything more than a third-pairing role with Winnipeg.
Pionk performed well in his first NHL action last season, posting 14 points in 28 games, including five on the power play. He'll almost certainly wind up spending the full season with the big club this time around, and it wouldn't be surprising to see the 23-year-old defenseman skating on the second defensive pairing and second power-play unit. The University of Minnesota-Duluth product has good offensive instincts on the blue line and held his own with a minus-1 rating as a rookie, so there's a lot to like about Pionk, especially in dynasty formats.
More Fantasy News
Inks four-year contract
DWinnipeg Jets
August 11, 2021
Pionk secured a four-year, $23.5 million deal from Winnipeg on Wednesday, Elliotte Friedman of Sportsnet reports.
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Records power-play assist
DWinnipeg Jets
May 23, 2021
Pionk managed a power-play assist, four hits and three shots on goal in Sunday's 5-4 overtime win over the Oilers in Game 3.
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Credited with helper
DWinnipeg Jets
May 19, 2021
Pionk posted an assist, seven hits, two blocked shots and a plus-2 rating in Wednesday's 4-1 win over the Oilers in Game 1.
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Nabs assist in return
DWinnipeg Jets
May 11, 2021
Pionk (undisclosed) notched one assist, two shots on goal, two hits and a plus-2 rating in Tuesday's 5-0 win over the Canucks.
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Playing against Canucks
DWinnipeg Jets
May 11, 2021
Pionk (undisclosed) will be in the lineup for Tuesday's matchup with Vancouver, Scott Billeck of the Winnipeg Sun reports.
ANALYSIS
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