The Eyes on Isles runner-up for the New York Islanders top 25 under 25 is a defenceman that saw a good portion of playing time with the NHL roster last season and has had a stellar training camp this season.
Eyes on Isles staff writers voted Ryan Pulock as the runner-up for the New York Islanders top 25 under 25. The voting was close between Pulock and our actual first overall selection.
The recent 22-year-old (his birthday was yesterday), was drafted by the Islanders in the 15th overall in the first round of the 2013 NHL Entry Draft. Coming out of the WHL’s Brandon Wheat Kings, Pulock was fresh off a 45 point season going into his draft year.
More from Prospects
- Islanders prospect Aatu Räty has BIG day out for new club
- Islanders fans get move for top prospect Aatu Räty
- Meet Islanders Defensive Prospect Tomáš Machů
- Islanders late round pick could be steal of 2020 draft
- Islanders: This should be big year for Simon Holmstrom
The defenceman’s pre-draft scouting report was glowing for his offensive contributions, and a wicked shot from the point, apparently clocked at 101mph. The defensive side of his game, on the other hand, was emphasized less.“The downfalls to his game are overshadowed by the offensive dimension he brings, most notably his power-play presence with a hard and heavy slapshot”
But for a kid who was a natural center, playing at the blueline is going to take some getting used to.
Pulock is one of the few prospects still on the Islanders roster fighting for a spot. He along with Adam Pelech are the two youthful defensemen remaining after a long list of cuts to the training camp roster.
It’s almost unfair. It’s Pulock second kick-at-the-can if you will. He played 15 games for the Islanders last season, 21 if you count the playoffs. The Isles got a good look at him then, averaging just over 12 minutes of even-strength, over a minute of power play time and marginal amount on the penalty kill.
His four points over that small NHL sample won’t have the bards writing any songs for him. But what the Isles say, they liked.
His growth on the defensive side of the game is evident, and it hasn’t seemed to have impacted his offensive talents.
He’s still that offensive minded player the Islanders drafted back in 2013, he’s just learned when to pinch forward, or go marauding towards goal, and when to stick back and not get his partner caught in odd-man situations.
He’s going to make the roster this season. It would be borderline absurd to think otherwise. His only direct competition for that seventh defensive spot at the moment is the aforementioned Adam Pelech, a fine prospect in his own right, but the Isles like what they have in Pulock.
From what I’ve seen, Ryan Pulock is the defensive gem that every team needs. Pulock probably would have ended up first in our list if it wasn’t for the Isles having a potential number one center in the system.