2013 Official NHL Draft Discussion Thread
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02-16-2013, 09:40 PM
Join Date: Mar 2008
Originally Posted by
Pulock has a great shot, and a very heady player (in all zones). You are right, he isn't physical, and I'm actually okay with that, as long as that player doesn't get thrown around and appear soft when they have the puck. If you don't initiate contact fine, but if you're afraid of contact and/or can't handle contact then that is another story. Pulock doesn't appear to let the physical play bother him and it doesn't keep him from going into the corner or winning possession along the boards.
I love hits in hockey, they are so much fun to watch and sometimes play a big role in a victory (physical play). I still think it's overrated, and I say that because often times (and mainly young players like the prospects we're talking about) players take themselves out of position by trying to make a hit, simply for the sake of making a big hit. How many times does a defenceman over pursue an opposing attacker chasing a big hit, make contact and the puck ends up staying in your zone, 1 or two passes later, while the hitter is still trying to get back in position, the puck is in the back of the net. Whereas if the defender just made a smart play and denied passing/shooting options the desired turnover is created and problems are avoided.
It's a personal preference, and I like hits, but only when they are smart and executed properly. Like I said kids struggle with that (and some veterans too, ask our friend Dion P)
It isn't about hits. Pulock isn't a guy you can count on to clear the net or punish players in the corner. It isn't necessarily a weakness, but with his physical maturity and hesitation to do that at the junior level, I wonder if he'll back off even more in the pros whe he has entire teams that are bigger than him bearing down on him. I don't care if he goes out of his way to lay someone out, I would like to see him take the body more and clear the front of the net -- basic duties of a defenseman. This is something Zadorov and Ristolainen, for example, do with authority.
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