Ryan Pulock: 2013 NHL Draft Player Profile #7

By
Updated: April 16, 2013
Ryan Pulock

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TopShelfProspectsEdit:  Drafted 15th Overall by the New York Islanders.

Ryan Pulock has excelled this season on a poor Brandon Wheat Kings team.  While the Wheat Kings finished last in the WHL’s Eastern Conference, it certainly wasn’t due to Pulock’s play, as he was a bright spot for the club all year long. A late birthday, he even became a leader for the club, and was named Captain.  Pulock also persevered over injuries this year, including a wrist injury that cost him much of January, and the CHL Top Prospects game.

Internationally Pulock was cut from the 2013 World Junior squad, which is not that surprising considering it is very difficult for draft eligible players to make Team Canada.  He did represent Canada at the 2012 IIHF Under 18 World Championships, where he helped the team to win a Bronze medal.

Defense
Born — Grandview, MAN
Height 6.01 — Weight 211 — Shoots Right
February Rank: 8

Pulock’s biggest asset is  an absolute rocket of a slapshot and fantastic one timer which make him an extremely feared shooter on the Powerplay. His shot was measured at 101 MPH in a skills competition this season.  Other teams are certainly shading their PK to try to minimize Pulock’s shot at this point, but despite that, and the wrist injury which limited his effectiveness even after his return,  he still scored 14 goals this season.  A natural PP Quarterback, Pulock makes smart crisp passes and sees the ice extremely well. He also understands the importance of getting the puck on net, and is able to utilize a good wrist shot and quick release when teams try to take away his big bomb.  On the rush, he has decent stickhandling and can be the lead man with the puck or can join the attack as the trailer, ready to unleash his rocket slapper or that very good wrist shot.

Pulock is an above average skater with good mobility on the blue line. He has a very good skating stride and good top end speed, both forwards and backwards.  His edgework, pivots and agility are excellent, allowing him to easily cover a lot of ice, and quickly change directions to react and keep the play in front of him.  He has solid balance and is difficult to knock off the puck.

Defensively, Pulock uses his good hockey sense and strong positioning and has really improved his defensive game over the last two years.  He keeps his opponent to the outside off the rush and is rarely beaten one on one.  In the defensive zone he cuts down passing and shooting lanes.  Pulock does play physically willing to throw hits in open ice or if an opponent tries to get by him along the boards.  He could stand to work on his upper body strength which would help him to win more board battles and be more of a force in front of the net, and clearing the crease.  Pulock’s first pass is excellent, and he helps his team start their transition game by moving the puck quickly out of the zone.

Stylistically, we’d compare Pulock to Shea Weber in that he has the great powerplay shot, is a smart defenceman, and plays a smart and physical defensive game. Remember that this is a style comparison and not saying he will ever be a Norris trophy caliber player like Weber.  In terms of potential, he can be a top pairing defenceman who will lead an NHL team on the powerplay, and play big minutes if he can reach his ceiling.

Check back tomorrow for our number 8 prospect.

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Photo Credit: whl.ca

10 Comments

  1. BB Hockey

    April 16, 2013 at 2:28 pm

    Ben, what do you attribute Ryan’s drop in production in 2012-13 to? From a pure statistical view of what was provided above (and I know you cant legitimately judge a player like that) it looks like he thrived in 2011-12 and then reverted back to early standards (2010-11 look very similar to 2012-13)? Was it the injury, is it the poor team? At this point in a jr’s career a number of teams are looking for that next step and improvement in play (Bo Horvat type progression).

    • Ben Kerr

      April 16, 2013 at 2:40 pm

      First thing we notice is that he played 10 less games in 2012-13 so thats a big factor in numbers… yes not 100% because his pace is still lower.

      Secondly the injury did limit his shot when he came back in the games he did play. He was playing games with his wrist still in a cast at times.

      And thirdly Brandon just didn’t have the offence around him, and so Teams really looked to shut him down on the PP.

      Mark Stone had 123 points for Brandon in 2011-12, Michael Ferland 96 points, Brendan Walker 81 points. All were gone in 2012-13, and Pulock’s 45 points actually tied for the team lead amongst scorers.

  2. Anonymous

    April 21, 2013 at 7:14 am

    Sounds like Pulock has the complete package

    He’s already listed at 210 pounds, seems in that regard that he’s likely closer to anyone else to being NHL ready compared to the majority of potential 1st rounders. With that kind of booming one timer on the PP, we’re surely talking about a 1st team PP guy for sure here.

    Could he also be a regular PK guy at the NHL level ?

    Can he be a shutdown 5-on 5 on a 1st pairing ?

    I mean, are we talking about a cerebral-like defensive presence here, or just a guy that has an above-average radar ?

    • Ben Kerr

      April 21, 2013 at 10:05 am

      Both offensively and defensively, he’s a really smart player. I think he needs a little more polish on his defensive game, but the tools are there, and yes, he could be someone used on the PK in the NHL as well, if he continues down that path.

  3. Alan Bouchard

    April 21, 2013 at 7:16 am

    I’m the one that delivered the last message Ben, i just forgot to insert my name before posting it…….;-)

  4. Alan Bouchard

    April 21, 2013 at 7:17 am

    I’ll repost once more, juste to make sure you get it right !

    Sounds like Pulock has the complete package

    He’s already listed at 210 pounds, seems in that regard that he’s likely closer to anyone else to being NHL ready compared to the majority of potential 1st rounders. With that kind of booming one timer on the PP, we’re surely talking about a 1st team PP guy for sure here.

    Could he also be a regular PK guy at the NHL level ?

    Can he be a shutdown 5-on 5 on a 1st pairing ?

    I mean, are we talking about a cerebral-like defensive presence here, or just a guy that has an above-average radar ?

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