The New York Islanders continued to concentrate on their defense when they selected Ryan Pulock with the 15th pick of the first round of the NHL Draft.
Pulock spent last season with the Brandon Wheat Kings and scored 14 goals and 45 points in 61 games in the WHL. He was actually more productive in 2011-12, scoring 19 goals and 60 points in 71 games.
Pulock stands 6’1″ and weighs 211. He projects as a two-way defenseman in the NHL and compared his style to Keith Yandle of the Coyotes.
Pulock was ranked 12th among North American skaters in Central Scouting’s final ratings.
“I am more of an offensive defenseman,” Pulock told reporters at the Prudential Center shortly after he was drafted. “My defense has come along well over the past few years.”
The Isles have now drafted defensemen with their last eight draft picks dating back to round 1 of last season.
Isles GM Garth Snow feels that Pulock adds a lot to his club. “Our organization’s young core has been built through the NHL Draft and is beginning to mature into a team that will perennially compete for the Stanley Cup,” Snow said. “With the guidance from our coaching staff and development staff, we are confident that Pulock will develop into yet another piece of that core. Ryan’s leadership qualities, his steady defensive presence and his ability to jump into the play on offense will be an asset for our team for years to come.”
Earlier in the day, the Islanders dealt Nino Niederreiter to the Minnesota Wild in exchange for forward Cal Clutterbuck. Having both Clutterbuck and Matt Martin on their roster gives the Islanders two of the NHL’s leaders in hits. Clutterbuck has finished in the top 10 in the league in hits over the past four seasons and was first overall in both 2009-10 and 2010-11. Clutterbuck also had four goals and 10 points in 42 games for the Wild last season.
Niederreiter had already expressed a desire to be traded from the Islanders and sulked last season after the Isles kept him at Bridgeport for the entire season. He was the Isles top pick (5th overall) in the 2010 NHL Draft.