UNIONDALE, N.Y. -- No more junior hockey for Ryan Pulock. The offensive-minded defenseman is ready for his next challenge, which he hopes will be NHL competition as a member of the New York Islanders.
Pulock finished his junior career in 2013-14 as the leading goal-scorer among defensemen in Brandon Wheat Kings history. The Islanders' first-round pick (No. 15) at the 2013 NHL Draft scored 64 goals and 146 assists and played 261 games in four Western Hockey League seasons. He is armed with a slap shot that has been clocked at over 100 mph.
Pulock, who turns 20 on Oct. 6, could start the 2014-15 season with the Bridgeport Sound Tigers in the American Hockey League, but he'll head to NHL training camp in September with greater aspirations.
He'll be facing some stiff competition this fall. The Islanders already have Calvin de Haan, Travis Hamonic, Lubomir Visnovsky and Thomas Hickey in the mix on their blue line and signed TJ Brennan, the defenseman of the year in the AHL last season, on July 1. Griffin Reinhart, the Islanders' 2012 first-round pick (No. 4), also is expected to push hard for a roster spot.