Neal Pionk wanted a shot to be able to play in the National Hockey League.
After he didn’t hear his name called in the NHL Entry Draft, the defenseman had to find another way to work his way into the league.
In May 2017, Pionk’s dream became a reality as he signed as an undrafted free agent with the New York Rangers. "It’s awesome," he said. "Everyone wants to be drafted. That day didn’t come for me, so for me to be able to sign as a free agent felt really good."
While looking for a team, the blueliner was attracted by the Blueshirts’ history and the potential to play in New York for a team that has made the playoffs 11 of the past 12 seasons.