Assigned to the AHL after an impressive training camp, Ryan Pulock has had an outstanding rookie season with the Bridgeport Sound Tigers, arguably the best rookie pro season of any Islanders defenseman prospect this decade.
Tied for the league lead in goals by defensemen -- not just rookie defensemen -- with 12, Pulock's "cannon" has delivered as advertised, and reports on the rest of his all-around game are also glowing.
Now comes the first hurdle in his pro career.
An arm or shoulder (technically, it's "upper body," but...) injury on the first shift last week has had him sitting out ever since, even getting an MRI and observation from the staff on Long Island. Michael Fornabaio of the Connecticut Post, the source of those last two bits of info, describes the injury sequence here. Please, please don't let it affect the velocity of his envious shot.
The post-evaluation update from Fornabaio has the team's news as both a pleasant surprise for the team and a murky worry for fans. Essentially, it's better than they thought but still up in the air.
No surgery -- for now. Rehab -- for now, with "now" being anywhere from three to six weeks. That means the coolest recognition of Pulock's season thus far, the recently announced selection for the All-Star Game Jan. 25-26, becomes a footnote.
Speaking of footnotes, Pulock joins a coincidental tradition of Bridgeport defensemen being removed from the All-Star Game thanks to injury before the game arrived.
Mark Katic and Calvin de Haan feel Pulock's pain.