For the first time in his NHL career, the point production wasn’t there for Ryan Pulock. The Islanders defenseman had just 17 points and two goals in the 56 game season in 2021. It’s a major outlier considering his past three seasons.
From 2017-2018 through 2019-2020 Pulock had 29 goals and 104 points in 218 games. If you were to pace that number out over a full 82 game season that’s 11 goals and 39 points.
Last year was a strange year but two goals and 17 points over 56 games paces out to only 3 goals and 25 points. So what happened?
First, the number of shots he was getting came down slightly. He was at 2.16 shots per game vs 2.42 the three years prior. More importantly, there was a significant drop-off in his shooting percentage.
From 2017-2020 Pulock had a 5.5 S% but this past year it plummeted to just 1.7%. If he remained consistent with the 5.5% this year he would’ve added five more goals to his goal total on the season.
Suddenly, 7 goals and 15 assists (22 points) doesn’t look too far off from the norm when it comes to Pulock’s production.
According to Natural Stat Trick, Pulock finished the 2021 season with an ixG of 5.14. Essentially meaning that he was expected to score three more goals than he really did on the season.
Also, Pulock on the power play was a nonfactor last season. He had just one power play point and it was an assist. His goal total on the man advantage the last three seasons was three, three, and five while he put up five, six, and six assists.
In 2021-2022, there’s no way that Pulock shoots at 1.7% again and there’s also no way that he gives the Isles just one power play point. Both his point production and his goal total will go back to normal this upcoming year.
Ironically, even though the points and goals weren’t there he was still as effective as ever for the Islanders.