Pionk signs four-year contract with Jets, avoids arbitration hearing


Neal Pionk signed a four-year, $23.5 million contract with the Winnipeg Jets on Wednesday. It has an average annual value of $5.875 million.

The 26-year-old defenseman, who was a restricted free agent, avoided a salary arbitration hearing scheduled for Friday.

Pionk led Jets defensemen with 32 points (three goals, 29 assists) in 54 game last season and had four assists in eight Stanley Cup Playoff games.

He scored an NHL career-high 45 points (six goals, 39 assists) and 25 power-play points in 71 games in 2019-20, his first season with Winnipeg after he was traded from the New York Rangers on June 17, 2019, for defenseman Jacob Trouba.

Signed by New York as a free agent May 1, 2017, Pionk has scored 117 points (16 goals, 101 assists) in 226 regular-season games with the Jets and Rangers and has six assists in 12 playoff games.

Jets forward Andrew Copp, who is a restricted free agent, has an arbitration hearing scheduled for Aug. 26.

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