Ryan Pulock, who finally got a full-time role with the New York Islanders last year, thrived. Here’s how he can grow on that in 2018-2019.
Ryan Pulock’s tenure with the New York Islanders has been a strange one. He made his debut in 2015-2016 as a 21-year-old and actually showed signs of being very good come playoff time. Then things got weird in 2016-2017.
He played just one game with the big club. Sure, he got injured and had to rehab in the AHL, but once he started dominating down there he never got a call-up to the Islanders who were fighting for a playoff spot.
Heck, even last year he started the year not playing every day, which is one of the craziest things that happened last year and that’s saying something. Pulock’s coming out party was his five-point night in Chicago.
Pulock was tied for third in points for rookie d-men with 32 (10 goals, 22 assists). He led all rookie defensemen in goals with 10 and he was second in minutes per game behind Charlie McAvoy. As far as rookie standards go he was one of the better defenders last year, and he should grow going forward.
Pulock played in just 68 games, due to his lack of a role early on. If he played all 82 games he was on pace for 39 points in his rookie year. I’ll sign up for that any day.
Pulock’s shot is deadly and he should continue to get more time on the power play under Barry Trotz this year. With Pulock trending upwards and Boychuk beginning his decline, it might be appropriate to move Boychuk off the top pair and have Pulock play top minutes.
Leddy and Boychuk have worked together for four years now but it might be time for a change in the 2018-2019 season.
Pulock’s offense began to be put on display last year. If he plays in all 82 games, which should be a lock unless there’s an injury, I fully expect Pulock to have one of those “break out” years with a very productive offensive season.
15 goals, 32 assists for 47 points
Getting nearly 50 points from a defenseman at age 24 is a big-time plus. His shot is a legit weapon, especially on the power play. I’d also like to see his corsi numbers come up, last year his CF percentage was 49.6 I’d like to see that above 50 percent going forward.
Pulock got a two-year bridge deal but after the next couple of years his next deal is likely going to look like Ryan Ellis’.