Always known to have major offensive upside, Pulock exploded for 15 goals and 46 points in 55 games on AHL Bridgeport's blue line last season, putting the Isles’ 2013 first-round pick squarely on the fantasy radar in deeper and keeper formats. The only thing keeping him away from major relevance for 2017-18 is the flotilla of boring-yet-reliable veterans ahead of him on the depth chart -- enough of them that Pulock may have to continue biding his time in the AHL for a bit longer yet. However, it wouldn't be surprising to see the Isles tire of having only one reliable source of offense (Nick Leddy) among their defensive corps, and the 22-year-old Pulock fits with the youth movement that’s getting underway in Brooklyn. It’s quite likely that one way or another, room will be made for him on the Islanders’ roster (and power play) at some point this season.
After an accomplished junior hockey career for the WHL's Brandon Wheat Kings, Pulock had his first full season at AHL Bridgeport cut short by injury, but showed the promise that led to his selection in the first round by the Islanders in 2013. In 54 games for Bridgeport, Pulock scored 17 goals, which led all defenseman on the team, while also chipping in 12 assists. Not even 21 years old, a big-bodied defenseman like Pulock can often take a bit of extra time to develop, but he seems right on schedule. He’ll look to crack the team’s third defensive pairing with Thomas Hickey this season. Even if he fails to earn a roster spot at the beginning of the season, Pulock could still be called upon in the not-too-distant future to bolster the team’s youthful blue line.
After Griffin Reinhart, Pulock is the cream of the crop when it comes to Islander defensive prospects. While Reinhart may end up being the superior overall defender of the pair, Pulock is the one who could end up being the better offensive blueliner, and thus, carry more fantasy upside. Pulock possesses a booming shot, which could be very dangerous on the power play, if and when he’s given the opportunity.
Pulock was the Islanders' first-round draft pick this past July. He projects as a possibly top-four defenseman should he develop, but there are just as many doubters out there whobelieve he will only be a power play specialist. What no one doubts is his shot. It's hard and heavy and will be a weapon if/when he makes his NHL debut.