2013 Draft Prospect Profile #17: Ryan Pulock
The profiling of 2013 NHL Draft-eligibles continues, today we look at defenseman Ryan Pulock of the Brandon Wheat Kings.
Team: Brandon Wheat Kings (WHL)
Date of Birth: October 6th, 1994
Place of Birth: Dauphin, Manitoba
Ht: 6'0" Wt: 209lbs
Pulock's game is based around one thing- offense.
In a year where the WHL is sending some high-scoring defensemen to the NHL Draft like Shea Thedore and Josh Morrissey, not to mention Seth Jones, Pulock may have the most pure offensive talent. He's a puck-mover, a powerplay dynamo with an NHL-caliber shot who isn't afraid to jump into the play and when he does, it often leads to goals-for.
He was the captain in Brandon this year, a rebuilding season for the Wheaties. He reminds me of Kevin Shattenkirk, both in style and production.
Pulock is a cerebral, smooth skating, offensive minded blueliner with outstanding mobility and agility. He has the ability to consistently produce offensive chances from the backend. He makes strong reads and reacts quickly in transition whether defensively or offensively. Pulock likes to rush the puck up the ice, makes strong and accurate passes that are typically well timed. He has nice vision that allows him to read the play and see his options. He can also generate second and third chances for his forwards off rebounds from his strong point shot. He is an excellent power play QB.
- Future ConsiderationsFinding the perfect spot for Pulock was difficult. Some scouts consider him to be a top-eight player in this draft, whereas others prefer him in the 11-15 range. Despite concerns, he has been one of the WHL's top offensive defensemen for the past three seasons. He tied for the points lead among all Wheat Kings this year. His best tool is his shot, which is elite, and NHL teams will utilize it atop the umbrella on their first power play unit. It has been clocked at over 100 miles per hour in skills competitions. His offensive game is well rounded, as he is a high-end thinker who has been described as a methodical puck mover. Pulock always seems to make the right decisions, whether it is to rush, pass, or shoot. Defensively, he is strong on his checks, controls his gaps well, and generally stays with his assignments. Still, he is prone to a breakdown at certain times. The biggest criticism of Pulock is his skating. Some scouts describe it as average, others as above average. Despite having solid mobility, he does not seem to have a blazing top gear. His game is more based on feel than dangling or pushing the pace.
- Hockey Prospectus
Has the size, tools and skill to be considered an early pick. Was strictly a forward until midget hockey, so there is a bit more polishing needed, but is a superb stickhandler, passer, shooter, skater and physical player. Quick snapper, booming slapper and quick passer who clears the front of his crease too. Viewed as an all-offense defenseman, due to his skating, puck-carrying and heavy shot, he will grow into a well-rounded defender based on his abilities, vision and hockey smarts. Given time, he may be a true impact player.
- Bill Placzek, Draft Site
Very steady, effective and efficient player. His strength is founded on an overall game that is consistent and dependable. Very good puck skills that is augmented by an outstanding shot. Very good vision and awareness and he creates offensive chances. He plays with poise and logs all of the important minutes for his team and he plays with a calming influence.
- Craig Button, TSN
Why he'd be a good fit in Columbus:
I mentioned the Shattenkirk comparison earlier- what team wouldn't like to add a player like that to their roster? The Jackets are in a unique spot with their three first round picks- they can fill multiple holes, while shoring up areas of strength. The blueline is considered to be the latter, but adding Pulock's offensive abilities (especially considering top prospect Ryan Murray is projected to be more of a shutdown defenseman) would be a huge boost to the organization.
Pulock in Action: