Hermantown's own Neal Pionk is leaving Minneasota-Duluth for the NHL after his sophomore year.

The Hermantown graduate has decided to leave the Bulldogs after two seasons and try his luck in the NHL. According to the DNT, Pionk will begin talking with NHL teams this week and expects that process to run into next week as well.

Pionk scored seven goals and 27 assists in 42 games for the Bulldogs this year, and ranked 10th among NCAA defensemen. He also got All-USCHO honors along with senior forward Alex Iafallo and freshman goalie Hunter Miska.

The Bulldogs were fantastic this season, but now I'm a little worried as seven seniors are leaving along with a sophomore and freshman starters who are going pro. However Coach Sandelin and the rest of crew do great work, so we shouldn't be too worried come next season. We wish Pionk the best of luck in the NHL!