NEWARK - The Islanders drafted defenseman Ryan Pulock with the 15th pick Sunday, continuing the trend of recent seasons of spending high picks on defensemen out of the Western Hockey League.
With Travis Hamonic, who played for Brandon of the WHL as Pulock does, and Griffin Reinhart, the No. 4 pick last year out of the WHL's Edmonton squad, the Isles figured it was worth another shot at a top defenseman to add to their growing haul of prospects at that position.
Pulock, though, is a more offensively gifted defenseman than most in the Isles' system, with 14 goals and 31 assists this past season for Brandon.
"He's a good young defenseman, can create offense, plays the game the right way, plays hard in front of his net," Islanders general manager Garth Snow said. 'We just really love his offensive flair."
Pulock, who turns 19 on Oct. 6, hoped he would have a real chance to fight for an NHL job within a couple of seasons. He said his father, David, is a lifelong Islanders fan to boot.
"They're a team that had a lot of great seasons in the past, some tough parts and now they're really coming on," Ryan Pulock said.
The Isles did turn away from defense for their remaining picks, going with three former teammates in rounds three and four. With the 70th pick the Isles acquired from the Wild Sunday, the Isles took goaltender Eamon McAdam of Waterloo in the USHL; McAdam, a Pennsylvania native, is headed to Penn State in the fall.
Six picks later, the Isles took forward Taylor Cammarata, the USHL player of the year at Waterloo last season. The 5-6 speedster is headed to the University of Minnesota.
And in the fourth round, the Isles took another goaltender, Stephon Williams, who left Waterloo a year ago for Minnesota State-Mankato.
The final picks were Swedish center Viktor Crus Rydberg at No. 136, center Alan Quine from Belleville of the OHL at No. 166, and defenseman Kyle Burroughs of Regina in the WHL at No. 196.