As if there weren’t enough reasons for the New York Islanders to be celebrating the start of the 2021-22 season — which includes favorable Stanley Cup odds and a brand-new arena — there appears to be one more benchmark event to add to the ledger.
TSN’s Darren Dreger reported late Wednesday night that the Islanders and one of their top defensemen, Ryan Pulock, have agreed to an eight-year contract extension worth “just under” $50 million. The first five years of the deal include a no-trade clause while the last three years carry a limited NTC.
The Islanders’ defenseman confirmed the extension on Thursday morning.
“It’s exciting,” Pulock said. “I just wanted to really be able to focus on this season and clear my head of that and focus on what we need to accomplish here. It’s really exciting for me.”
Pulock is now half of a secured top defensive pairing for the Islanders, who earlier this season secured fellow No. 1 defenseman, Adam Pelech, to an eight-year deal worth $46 million in total.
It’s another impressive showing of business savvy from team president and general manager Lou Lamoriello, who now has one of the best defensive pairings in all of hockey secured for at least the next eight years at a combined average annual value (AAV) of approximately $12 million.
Compare that to the combined $19.5 million AAV that the San Jose Sharks — who allowed the third-most goals in the NHL last season — are spending this year between Erik Karlsson and Brent Burns, and that’s quite a steal for arguably the best defensive team in hockey.
“I think if you look at our careers, we’ve come up together and we’ve been able to play with each other the last few years,” Pulock said of being secured long-term with Pelech. “I think we kind of complement each other and it’s a great situation for both of us to be able to play here on the Island as D partners.”
Pulock is a week removed from his 27th birthday and could very well be the next Islanders lifer with his eight-year extension kicking in next season — meaning he will be 36 by the time it’s up.
In six seasons (four as a full-time player) since getting drafted 15th overall in 2013 by the Islanders, Pulock has recorded 33 goals and 92 assists with a plus-42 rating. He also has 55 career postseason games under his belt as the organization’s revolution continues, adding seven goals, 13 assists, and one of the most indelible moments in franchise history when his sliding block at the goal line as time expired in Game 4 of last season’s Stanley Cup semifinal secured a 3-2 victory over the Tampa Bay Lightning.