Editorials

Islanders: Ryan Pulock Market Value Higher Than Anticipated

By Matt O'Leary
New York Islanders defenseman Ryan Pulock (6) (Mandatory Credit: John E. Sokolowski-USA TODAY Sports)
New York Islanders defenseman Ryan Pulock (6) (Mandatory Credit: John E. Sokolowski-USA TODAY Sports) /
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The New York Islanders have to pay Ryan Pulock this year. Some metrics have his market value higher than anticipated.

Ryan Pulock is without a doubt, a top-pairing defenseman and he is going to get his bag in the coming weeks from the New York Islanders. Since being a regular in the lineup in 2017-2018, he’s put up 30+ points each year.

This past year, he finished with 35 points (10 goals, 25 assists) which paced over a full season would’ve been a career-high of 42 points. He’s carved out a nice role on the top pair with this team and he should be paid handsomely very soon.

The question isn’t are the Isles going to pay him, it’s how much? Most would probably say somewhere between $5.5 million and $6.5 million per year, and I’d agree, leaning more towards the $6.5 million AAV.

Well, according to Sean Tierney’s model, Ryan Pulock’s market value is $7.53 million per year. His reasoning cites his 5v5 production and how he has a positive impact just about in every category except for turnover differential.

On the flip side, he hasn’t been nearly as effective on the power play or shorthanded for the Islanders. While on paper, $7.5 million for a top-pair d-man sounds about right, circumstances won’t allow it to get that high.

The Islanders simply can’t afford it. In 2018, Ryan Ellis signed an eight-year deal for $6.25 million. That was after a 44 game season that saw him put up 32 points. Pulock should be right around that range, I think Tierney’s projection is a little on the high side.

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As a reminder, the Isles are working with $8.9 million of cap space with Ryan Pulock and Mathew Barzal to sign. This should be a fun one for Lou Lamoriello to try to figure out. Expect multiple players to get moved out in order to create the necessary room.

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