What Expectations Can Be Set For Ryan Pulock This Season?

On November 4th, 2020, the Islanders re-signed defenseman Ryan Pulock to a two-year/$10 million deal. This was undoubtedly huge for the Islanders as Pulock is a key piece to the puzzle.

As it is, he is one of the best defensemen on the Islanders. His hard slap shot and his excellent defense make Ryan Pulock a real force to be reckoned with. Pulock is a lethal piece on the power play. His shot combined with his passing skills really makes him into a prolific NHL defenseman.

Pulock’s Excellent 2019-20 Season

Last season, Ryan Pulock had a season to remember. In 68 regular-season games, he scored 10 goals and had 25 assists. That being said, he was able to get 35 points. He had a plus-minus of eight and only took 14 penalty minutes. He took a total of 163 shots with a shooting percentage of 6.1. For reference, Pulock average 22 minutes and 24 seconds of total ice time per game in the regular season.

In 22 playoff games, he recorded two goals, eight assists, and 10 points. He had a plus-minus of -1 and he served six penalty minutes. Took a total of 45 shots and a shooting percentage of 4.4. In the playoffs, Pulock averaged 22 minutes and 42 seconds. His 2019-20 season was nothing less than terrific.

Possibilities For 2020-21 Season

The 2020-21 NHL season will absolutely be shorter than usual. At this time, speculation believes that the regular season will probably be 48 games long. In the regular season last year, Ryan Pulock had an average of 0.51 points per game, 0.15 goals per game, and 0.37 assists per game.

To average that out to a 48 game season, Pulock would score around seven goals. Along with 18 assists for 25 points. But, Pulock could have a slight raise to those numbers with 9 goals, 20 assists, and 29 points. His plus-minus will seemingly be a plus eight again. Pulock could step it up to an even higher level all around.

He has been solidifying himself as a top 10 defenseman in the NHL and most certainly the Islanders’ best defenseman. Pulock will have a similar, but better year in 2020-21 in comparison to 2019-20.

An improvement seems possible because of his role in Barry Trotz‘s system. Ryan Pulock and linemate Adam Pelech are both players who work very well in the system. But in all seriousness, Pulock would like to have a very similar year to what he had in 2019-20. The probably shortened season may prevent him from having a better season, but there is still some room for improvement.

Ryan Pulock is already an outstanding player in the NHL, so a better season is a difficult challenge. But if anyone is up for a tough challenge, Ryan Pulock is the guy.

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