We've long known that New York Islanders defenseman Ryan Pulock owned one of the hardest shots in the National Hockey League, but we didn't realize how often he put it on display.
On Tuesday, the NHL posted a list of players with the Most 100+ mph shots throughout the league during the 2022-23 season, and the 28-year-old defenseman topped the list, registering 12 triple-digit shots last season. Pulock was one of only three players who were able to crank things up that high more than five times last year, with Tage Thompson of the Buffalo Sabres (10) and the Florida Panthers' bearded defenseman Radko Gudas (7) the only others.
Pulcok was tied-2 in shots over 90mph with Roman Josi of the Nashville Predators with 79. Only Arizona Coyotes defenseman Michael Stone fired more over that mark with 89. Pulock's max shot last season topped out at 101.64, the fourth hardest captured by the league. Gudas takes the title for the hardest in-game shot at 101.71, just .07 faster than the Islander's 2013 first-round pick.
As the Islanders aim to improve their power play this season, some have wondered why Pulock's shot hasn't earned him more ice time with the man advantage. While he's often criticized for failing to hit the net, Pulock did have 11 power-play goals for the team between 2017-2020 and 28 goals overall.
However, as his defensive game has matured, it has come seemingly at the sacrifice of his offense. After scoring five goals in 56 games during the 2021-22 season in which he missed time due a lower-body injury, his offensive production slipped further last year, posting five goals and 21 assists in 82 games for a 0.32 points-per-game average, his second lowest since the 2017-18 season.
In a way, these hardest shot stats tell us what we already know, but it doesn't stop us from thinking whether or not Pulock's offensive potential can still be realized on a team that would greatly benefit from being able to use his dangerously hard offensive weapon.