With Calvin de Haan (lower body) going on injured reserve onSunday, the New York Islanders called up defenseman Ryan Pulock from the Bridgeport Sound Tigers on Monday.
Pulock, the Islanders’ 2013 first-round pick, has 24 points (7G, 17A) in 51 games for the Sound Tigers this season and will join the team on their upcoming road trip to Western Canada. If he draws into the lineup, Pulock would be making his NHL debut.
“I’m excited to be here,” Pulock said. “I’m here to work hard in practice and just wait to get my opportunity. I’m waiting for my chance and when I get it take full advantage of it."
Known for a big slap shot – the Islanders prospect hit 105 mph during the team’s minicamp over the summer – Pulock scored 17 goals for the Sound Tigers last year, top among rookie defensemen and only two off the AHL pace for blueliners.
“He possesses a big shot which we know and he can get up into the play,” Jack Capuano said. “To me it’s about how you defend.”
Capuano and the Islanders wanted Pulock to develop his play away from the puck this season adding another dimension to his game. Adam Pelech and Scott Mayfield were the first defensemen to earn call-ups this season, but that extra time in Bridgeport has been beneficial to Pulock.
“To be effective I have to be a two-way player,” Pulock said. “That’s an area of my game that I’ve really improved these last couple of months in Bridgeport. I’ve been getting more time on the PK and in those big situations late in games. It’s really helped me grow as a player and even my confidence as well.”
Capuano is happy that Pulock accepted his challenge to improve.
“He’s had a good attitude,” Capuano said. “He’s improved his game in a lot of areas that we talked about coming out of training camp. Everybody has to play without the puck. He has to play physical, he has to play down low hard. When you get to this level the difference for a defenseman is the ability to play in your own end.”
As for de Haan, he will stay home to start the road trip, but Capuano said he could join the team at a later date.
“We’ll leave him home to start to get some rehab and then as we move forward hopefully he’ll be able to join us at some point during this trip.”