Ryan Pulock has a message for head coach Don Nachbaur and the rest of his Western Hockey League staff for tonight’s Subway Super Series game in Vancouver.
The Brandon Wheat Kings defenceman would like a shot at Nail Yakupov.
Yakupov, the top overall pick from this year’s National Hockey League Entry Draft, leads the Russian team that will wrap up the annual junior series against the Canadian Hockey League with games tonight and tomorrow versus the WHL.
So far, the series is tied is 2-2 with the Russians splitting against both the Ontario and Quebec Major Junior hockey leagues. Yakupov is tied for the Russian scoring lead with two goals and two assists.
"Hopefully I can play a few shifts against him and see what he’s all about," said Pulock, who also played in last year’s series. "You hear a lot about him. He’s a top pick and I’m excited to play against him and see how I fare against guys with that skill level."
Pulock is projected as a top-10 pick in next year’s NHL draft and the Wheat Kings captain is among the highest scoring blue-liners in the WHL, with eight goals and 23 points in 21 games.
The Super Series is a chance for the 6-foot-1, 211-pound Grandview native to make an early bid as a candidate for the national junior team, but there’s plenty of competition to be found in the series itself this year. Traditionally, the WHL hosts the last two games and at times the series has been decided by the time the Russians get to this side of the country. But this time, with the teams even so far, Pulock is anxious to help the CHL secure victory.
"I think they’ve got a pretty good team over there," said Pulock, who will only play tonight’s game and not tomorrow’s finale in Victoria. "They’ve got a lot of talent and (it will) come down to the WHL to see who takes the series, so hopefully we can come through and come out with a couple wins."
AROUND THE WHL: Everett Silvertips D Ryan Murray has been named the WHL captain for Game 5 of the Super Series, while Swift Current Broncos LW Adam Lowry will wear the ‘C’ for Game 6. Edmonton Oil Kings D Griffin Reinhart, Moose Jaw Warriors D Morgan Rielly and Red Deer Rebels D Mathew Dumba will be the alternate captains in both games. Meanwhile, Broncos C Graham Black and Warriors C Sam Fioretti have been added to tonight’s lineup as injury replacements, while Spokane Chiefs RW Mitch Holmberg will play in both games instead of just tonight’s contest … The Calgary Hitmen received good news Tuesday with the word that they will get C Victor Rask back from the American Hockey League’s Charlotte Checkers. Rask, 19, had a goal and five points in 10 games with the Checkers after posting 33 goals and 63 points in 64 games last season with the Hitmen … The Regina Pats and Saskatoon Blades have both been fined $500 after a line brawl between the teams on Friday … Prince Albert Raiders C Mark McNeill is the Denny’s WHL Player of the Week after posting two goals and five assists in three games last week … Agent Rick Valette tweeted Tuesday that D Alex Theriau, who was released by the Medicine Hat Tigers earlier this month, has joined Regina and will play on Friday, although the move has yet to be confirmed by the Pats. Theriau’s addition would give the Pats four 20-year-olds — one over the limit.