Neal Pionk, a junior defenseman from Hermantown High School (Minnesota) that was recently ranked as the eighth best junior player in Minnesota high school hockey has committed to his home town University of Minnesota-Duluth Bulldogs.
Pionk is a pretty complete player for only being a high school junior. He's a smooth skater, good passer, and plays his position very responsibly. He's not overly big, but isn't afraid to mix things up physically. Pionk made the preliminary roster for the Sioux City Musketeers of the USHL, a team headed up by former UMD assistant Brett Larson, but chose to return to Hermantown this year. He's also an excellent baseball player, and said via Twitter that he may also play baseball for UMD if possible.
Pionk is another valuable piece in what is starting to look like a pretty formidable back line for the Bulldogs in coming years. He joins current commits Blake Heinrich, Willie Raskob, and Dan Molenaar, giving the Bulldogs four really quality defensive prospects out of the state of Minnesota.