Ryan Pulock emerged as the number one defenseman for the New York Islanders. Now it’s time to take the next step forward in 2019-2020.
Coming off his first full year in the league, Ryan Pulock was looking for a big 2018-2019 with the New York Islanders. He ended up putting up 37 points last year, slightly less than his pace from the year prior, but everyone’s offensive numbers went down.
The key for Pulock last year was his increased ice time and success in the d-zone. He led the team with 22:33 of ice time taking the title away from perennial winner Nick Leddy. It didn’t start out that way though for Pulock.
He had an eight-game stretch in October without a point. His ice time was still high he just wasn’t producing at the same level as we come to expect from the year prior. That changed with a big game in the Islanders win over Pittsburgh.
He had a three-assist night and finished the month with four points in the Islanders final two games of October. It quickly became evident that Pulock was the best defender on this team.
One of the main reasons we saw a point per game regression from Pulock was due to the power play deficiencies. He only had nine power-play points. with a half-decent power play, there’s no reason that number can’t be up around 15.
Last year the Isles power play sat at 14.5 percent which was third-worst in the league. Even if it gets up to 20 percent, which would be about league average, Pulock should see his point total continue to rise.
Expectations For 2019-2020
If Pulock continues to progress, and with Jim Hiller’s help on the power play there’s no reason to think Pulock can’t finish above 40 points. I’ll go 45 points (11 goals, 34 assists) for Ryan Pulock this year.
As for ice time, he will likely lead the team again with his ice time being around the 23-minute mark. A season like this should yield him a nice seven-year extension with a cap hit between $6 million – $7 million.