The 2023 NHL All-Stars were revealed on Thursday evening and the NY Islanders representative that will be in attendance at FLA Live Arena, home of the Florida Panthers, in Sunrise, Florida is Brock Nelson. One player from each team has been selected to the All-Star game and a fan vote that's currently being conducted will take care of the remaining 12 members that will be in attendance to be determined later. However, there are certain skills players possess that even if they're not named to the All-Star weekend, said players should at least be in attendance to participate in the skills competition.
This idea became a reality in the 2022 All-Star game when the Anaheim Ducks forward Trevor Zegras wasn't named an All-Star in lieu of Troy Terry. Zegras is known for his incredible ability to dazzle while stickhandling and make for highlight reel goals. So the NHL made an exception for Zegras to attend as they knew it would help draw a crowd and make for a fun experience.
On Thursday's episode of The Jeff Marek Show, Elliotte Friedman joined Marek to talk about the impening weekend. Both Marek and Friedman agreed that the NHL should do what they did last year for Zegras this year with one particular player in mind:
“Ryan Pulock, Marek exclaimed. "I want to see Ryan Pulock go because, at the skills competition, there’s no (Zdeno) Chara anymore, everybody. I want to make a star out of Ryan Pulock for the hardest shots.”
Marek excitedly admitted he's been waiting to see Pulock and his cannon of a shot on a shot clock at the All-Star game. Islander fans know that Pulock has quite the hard shot. However, if you didn't know, his shot has once been clocked in at 105 mph during a skills competition at an Islanders rookie scrimmage back in 2015.
It's been brought to Pulock's attention, too, and the player wants to go.
“He said he wants to do it, I asked him once," Friedman explained. "He said he’d want to go there. I asked: ‘Would you want to go and do the hardest shot?’ And he said ‘are you serious?’ I said ‘yes,’ and he said ‘I’d love to do it.’”
Who knows, maybe the fans will vote Pulock in. However, if not, the boys at Sportsnet have specifically singled out the Islanders' defenseman as a player with a unique talent that should take part in the skills competition. Sometimes when those who run the industry make these claims, things happen. Other times, they do not. Either way, we'll have to wait until Saturday, February 4th to find out if Pulock will or won't be in the hardest shot competition this year.