NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) — Ryan Pulock may be the future on the Islanders’ blue line, but that doesn’t mean he’s going to be handed anything.
According to Newsday, the Isles are looking to add a veteran defenseman, presumably to compete for third-pairing minutes. One such target appears to be Marek Zidlicky, who has played for four teams during a solid 11-year career.
Zidlicky spent the 2014-15 season with New Jersey and Detroit, registering a combined 34 points in a total of 84 games. The Red Wings acquired him at the trade deadline to primarily help on the power play. Six of Zidlicky’s seven goals last season came with the man advantage.
Zidlicky has 85 goals and 316 assists in 783 career regular season games.
Known for his blistering slap shot and puck-moving prowess, Pulock had 29 points in 54 games last season for Bridgeport of the AHL. The 15th pick in the 2013 draft, the 20-year-old blueliner will get a shot to make the Islanders in training camp.
New York’s top five defensemen figure to be veteran Johnny Boychuk, Nick Leddy, Travis Hamonic, Calvin de Haan and Thomas Hickey, with Pulock, Brian Strait, Scott Mayfield and perhaps a veteran like Zidlicky battling for the other third-paring slot.
The Islanders open the 2015-16 regular season, their first since relocating to Brooklyn, on Oct. 9 against defending Stanley Cup champion Chicago at Barclays Center.