Jacob Trouba just signed a seven-year $56 million deal with the New York Rangers. New York Islanders defenseman Ryan Pulock could be looking at the same deal this time next season.
On Friday, the New York Rangers signed the second key piece of their rebuild to a seven-year deal. Jacob Trouba signed a $56 million deal with the Isles rival($8 million AAV). All I could think of was, New York Islanders defenseman Ryan Pulock can totally get that money.
Before the start of the season, head coach Barry Trotz met with Ryan Pulock to effectively promote him to the number one defenseman slot for the team. Last season was Pulock’s second full year in the NHL.
Last season, Pulock led a defense that was the best in the NHL with 191 goals against and 2.33 goals against per game. He also led the Islanders blueliners in production with 37 points. All in his second year in the league.
Going into the last year of his bridge deal, Ryan Pulock has to look at Jacob Trouba’s deal and go: “That’s me next year.”
Just Like Trouba
Jacob Trouba had 50 points with the Winnipeg Jets last season, Ryan Pulock only had 37. If you’re looking at points totals only, Jacob Trouba is easily a better player. But when you take a closer look at some other numbers including some underlying ones, the two are closer than they are apart.
Just starting with time on ice. Jacob Trouba’s 5on5 time last season was a total of 1435.8 minutes, Ryan Pulock had a total of 1433.72 minutes. Both players played heavy minutes and were instrumental in the fortunes of their respective clubs on the back end.
Their 5on5 production isn’t too far off either. Trouba had four more 5on5 points than Pulock. Trouba had one extra primary and three more secondary assists than Pulocks eight and eight.
We all complained about Pulock missing the net a bunch, but he still got it on net more times than Trouba with 137 shots on goal to Trouba’s 124 (again, at 5on5). In most other shooting categories, Pulock was the better player. Including expected goals for, where Pulock held a 6.05 compared to Trouba’s 5.34.
Defensively, Pulock might block fewer shots than Trouba, but he hits far more often (132 hits for Pulock to 93 for Trouba), and gives the puck away far less (51 for Pulock to 70 for Trouba).
Looking at the quality of competition they faced during the season the same story emerges. The 5on5 quality of competition Corsi-for percentage for Trouba was 50.02, for Pulock it was 50.01.
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Leading up to Trouba’s 50 point season he’d never eclipsed 33. Ryan Pulock hit 32 in his first NHL and then 37 last year. He could absolutely hit 50 next year for the New York Islanders.
All of that to say, that the New York Islanders already have their number one right-handed $8 million dollar a year defenseman. They’re just paying him $2 million for one more year. Come 2020-21 that will change when Pulock signs a comparable contract.