The New York Islanders will be a different team and have a new identity under Barry Trotz and Lou Lamoriello. One of the players who could benefit the most from the new regime is Ryan Pulock, who is ready to take flight.
The New York Islanders had high hopes for Ryan Pulock when they selected him 15th overall in the 2013 NHL Draft. At 6’2, 214 lbs, the big defenseman has all the skill to make a great two-way blueliner along with a cannon of a shot.
One of the few bright spots for the Islanders last year was Pulock. It all came together for the soon-to-be 24-year old defenseman in the second half of last season.
Ask any Islander player who was the
and everyone would point to Pulock. Pulock finished with 10 goals, 32 points (in 68 games), along with a minus-four rating. Considering how many goals the Isles surrendered last year that was a very honorable rating (
was a -12).
Time is Now
Johnny Boychuk is now 34 and Nick Leddy is coming off his worst season (-42). Thomas Hickey is solid but he is a third-pairing blueliner. Adam Pelech, Scott Mayfield, and Devon Toews are young defenseman trying to establish themselves but are for now also third-pairing blueliners.
The door is wide open for Pulock to be one of the Isles top defensemen. That is the case for both five on five play, as well as the power-play. Believe it or not, the Islanders power-play can get even better this year with Pulock’s rifle shot at the point and Anders Lee big body in front of the net.
Having Trotz in his ear will also give Pulock the best chance to become a top-flight defenseman.
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Opportunity is knocking for young Mr. Pulock. The kid from Dauphin, Manitoba should enter camp on a mission to show everyone he must be considered one of the team’s top rear-guards.
Pulock signed a two-year, $4 million dollar extension this summer. If he can pick up where he left off from last season a lucrative contract extension could be in store for him next summer.