Minnesota Duluth loses another as Pionk bolts after two seasons to pursue pro hockey

28 Jan 17: Neal Pionk (Minnesota Duluth - 4). The University of Minnesota Duluth Bulldogs play against the St. Cloud State University Huskies in the Championship game of the North Star College Cup at the Xcel Energy Center in St. Paul, MN. (Jim Rosvold)
Minnesota Duluth blueliner Neal Pionk was fifth in scoring among all NCAA defensemen in 2016-17 (photo: Jim Rosvold).

Minnesota Duluth sophomore defenseman Neal Pionk confirmed on Monday to www.wdio.com that he will be leaving school to pursue a professional hockey career.

“It will be process,” Pionk said to the site. “It will take a few days.”

Pionk was an All-NCHC second team pick in 2016-17 and ranked fifth among all NCAA defenseman in scoring with a career high 34 points on seven goals and 27 assists.

No word on what team or league Pionk is interested in joining.

Previously, UMD lost freshman goalie Hunter Miska to the Arizona Coyotes.