Ryan Pulock proves invaluable to NY Islanders' blue line

New York Islanders v Tampa Bay Lightning
New York Islanders v Tampa Bay Lightning / Mike Ehrmann/GettyImages

Ryan Pulock came into the NY Islanders 2023-24 season with high hopes, having had a great offensive year and having played in all 82 games for the second time in his career in the season prior. Pulock is known for his rocket of a shot and has continued to excel in the defensive zone for the Islanders. Unfortunately, the injury bug that has plagued Pulock for the majority of his career bit again, missing two months from December to February with a lower-body injury. After returning to the lineup, Pulock proved why the Islanders need him on the blue line.

*Read our previously Published player report cards: Sebastian Aho | Mat Barzal | Samuel Bolduc | Casey Cizikas | Cal Clutterbuck | Noah Dobson | Pierre Engvall | Hudson Fasching | Simon Holmstrom | Bo Horvat | Anders Lee | Kyle MacLean | Matt Martin | Scott Mayfield | Brock Nelson | JG Pageau | Kyle Palmieri | Adam Pelech

NY Islanders 2023-24 season report card: Ryan Pulock

Pulock began the season a bit slow offensively, but the defenseman, while known for his shot, has never quite been known for his offensive prowess. His slapshot is lethal... when it actually hits the net which doesn't seem to happen often. Pulock is one of the Islanders' most consistent defensemen, he mans the second power play unit, is great on the penalty kill, and is ole reliable in his own zone. However, it took Pulock until November to get three points on the season when he garnered an assist against the Carolina Hurricanes. Pulock went down with an injury on December 7th against the Columbus Blue Jackets, and amid a season of severe defensive struggles for the Islanders, he was definitely missed.

It seemed to take Pulock a bit to get back into his groove after returning from injury, but he quickly excelled under new head coach Patrick Roy, making an impact every time he stepped onto the ice. It seemed as though every time Pulock was on his game and playing well, the team as a whole played well. It's no secret Pulock is a leader on the blue line and missing him for so long definitely hurt the Islanders' defensive mindset among other issues. The Islanders as a whole need to continue to improve offensively as they head into the 2024-25 season and start getting scoring from all ends of the lineup and Pulock is a big part of that. With a lethal shot and a great hockey IQ in both zones, the defenseman should see more points on the board than his 19 points (5G, 14A) from this season.

For having a good season defensively, but being inconsistent in the offensive end and missing almost 30 games due to injury Pulock receives an A- for his 2023-24 season. Pulock is a young defenseman and still has time to round out his skillset with five more years remaining on his contract. With a full season under Roy, things are looking good for Pulock in 2024-25.

Final Grade: A-