The New York Islanders stud defensive prospect Ryan Pulock is out 4-6 weeks with a lower body injury. Even though the Isles have good defensive depth this a bigger deal than just an injury to a 7th d-man.
It’s not that Seidenberg has played bad, it was just a surprise as everyone expected Ryan Pulock to get more playing time this year. I thought he earned a spot just based on his play from the playoffs this past year.
If you remember it was his power play goal that revived the Islanders in Game 3 against the Florida Panthers. The Islanders struggles on the power play have continued this year and it makes you scratch your head as to why he wasn’t considered for the team just based off of his success on the power play.
Unfortunately he won’t get that chance for at least another two months.
After he recovers it’s right back to Bridgeport for him. But is that what’s best for him? He’s already played over 100 games in the AHL how much longer must he wait until he gets his chance to be an every day player?
The issue that presents itself due to all this “depth” is that Pulock’s growth will potentially stunt because he is playing against lesser competition.
Where there times last year where his inexperience showed? Yes, but how is he expected to learn to play in the NHL if he isn’t playing in the NHL! There comes a point in time when you have to take the training wheels off and let him go.
Now as Pulock is down with injury he is surpassed by Adam Pelech, who I believe is talented but not as talented as Pulock. In reality it should have been Pulock as the 6th d-man with Seidenberg in the “Brian Strait Role”.
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This injury isn’t just a short term issue for the Islanders. As I stated they have depth at this position. The problem is they aren’t giving their prospects the ability to develop. We saw it last year with Ryan Strome, we’re seeing it now with Mathew Barzal and we’re seeing it with Pulock too.
This is a bad habit that the Islanders need to break if they want to be a real competitor. You can’t be giving stopgap defenseman valuable minutes when you have a talented prospect who is NHL ready. When Pulock is healthy he needs to be in the lineup, will it happen? Probably not.