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05-02-2013, 01:10 PM
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Originally Posted by Jack de la Hoya View Post
His skating looked pretty good there.

Meltzer breaks down the defensemen in the draft.

Ryan Pulock: In my opinion, Pulock is the defenseman in the Draft with the highest all-around upside after Jones. He may not be the second or even the third defenseman off the draft board, but he'd be the blueliner I'd have the highest after Jones.

In my opinion, the primary reason why Pulock is not the consensus second-ranked D-man in the 2013 Draft is the chip fracture in his wrist that caused him to miss time this season and knocked him out of the Top Prospects Game. Even after he returned to the Wheat Kings' lineup, he was not quite at 100 percent for several weeks.

Looking beyond the injury, which is now fully healed, there is a lot to like about Pulock's potential. Start with his shooting. He possesses a rocket of a shot, which has been clocked at over 100 miles per hour. More importantly, he gets his shots on the net and doesn't have a long, slow windup. As such, he stands a very good chance of becoming a top-unit power play point man as he develops in the professional ranks.

Pulock is also fairly reliable on the defensive side of the puck. Forget his plus-minus ranking this year. His minus-seven was a reflection of playing on a bad Brandon club. His defensive game is not yet NHL caliber but is evolving at a satisfactory clip toward that status. In limited viewing exposures, I saw him routinely make a good first pass out of the defensive zone and generally makes the right reads on opposing rushes. All the tools are there to become a dependable two-way defenseman.

Pulock is not the speediest defenseman in the draft class in foot races, but he's not a deficient skater. Likewise, he's not always mean or physical but has it in him to play that way when the situation dictates it. In a mid-November game against Kootenay that I caught via webcast, he threw a pair of crushing hits on a single shift with his team trailing 2-0 early in the game. The Wheaties lost the game, 5-3, but Pulock had nothing to do with any of the Ice's goals and was easily the best defenseman on the ice for either side in that match. He also contributed a power play goal to the effort.

In an age of behemoth defensemen who can also skate well, Pulock's frame (6-feet, 210 pounds) is average sized but far from small. He will continue to fill out.

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