There is little doubt Ryan Pulock will be a first round selection come 2013.
The smooth-skating blueliner was a seventh round selection (136th overall) by the Brandon Wheat Kings in the 2009 WHL Bantam Draft after racking up 70 goals and 118 points in 41 games as a forward. Two years later, he broke Wade Redden’s franchise mark of points by a 16-year-old defenseman (39), with 42, on eight goals and 34 assists.
And while the talented rearguard has had nothing but success on the ice, off of it, he had to endure the tragic loss of his 13-year-old brother (Brock) in 2010 after a car accident as Ryan and his family were driving to see the oldest of three Pulock sons, Derrick, play for the hometown Grandview Comets.
An event that could send many spiraling downward maybe only made the youngster mature faster. His brother will always remain close to his heart, as Ryan has a tattoo of a Maple Leaf on his chest with Brock’s number 4 inside. Fitting, as Brock was a big Toronto fan. Ryan also writes that same number on the blade of all his sticks as well.
This season, he has been absolutely dominating from the back end, scoring 19 goals and 60 points in 69 games. Those numbers sit him third overall for defenseman scoring in the entire WHL. The six-foot-one, 201-pound defenseman combines excellent mobility and skating with tremendous vision and hockey sense to go with a canon-like shot. There may be no better defenseman in the league for quickly transitioning and starting the attack.
Who has been your biggest influence and help in developing your game thus far?
I would have to say my father, he was the one always pushing me as a kid to get better, and he still is pushing me now.
You are such a skilled blueliner, with a pro calibre shot, what do you see being your best attributes as a player?
Other than my shot, I feel I can see the ice fairly well and get pucks moving up ice smoothly.
Is there an NHLer you model your game after?
Keith Yandle because he is a two-way defenseman that is very strong offensively, and I feel that way about myself.
What was your ‘welcome moment’ to the WHL?
My very first game I had two assists.
You’ve scored a bunch of goals over your young career in minor hockey and with Brandon. Do you have one that stands out as your biggest?
Well I would have to say my first career WHL goal. It wasn’t the nicest, and they had to review it, but it was special to me.
What is the highlight of your career thus far?
My biggest highlight would just be playing in the WHL, and putting up some numbers.
Along with being a superb talent, you are also mature beyond your years on and off the ice, and you’re a player that probably would have been selected in this years NHL Entry Draft, and possibly even last years if you had of been eligible. In your mind, could 2013 not come soon enough, or is it something you even think about?
It’s something that I think about once in awhile, I get the extra year to develop, so I am willing to wait and try to use the extra year as a advantage.
What is the best piece of advice ever received?
My best piece of advice I feel I have been given is just work hard on and off the ice, and be willing to do the little extra to improve.