Brock Nelson isn’t among the flashiest names when it comes to NHL rookies, but he’s still piecing together a solid first year for the New York Islanders. The former first-round pick spent 66 games in the AHL last season, making a strong professional debut on the back of a 25-goal campaign.
While he’s not scoring at that same pace for the Islanders yet, he seems to be settling into a groove lately. After picking up an assist in New York’s 1-0 victory over the Washington Capitals last night, Nelson has four goals and six points over his last nine contests. That brings his totals to 10 goals and nine assists through 48 games played—good for 17th in the NHL in rookie scoring.
With Thomas Vanek unlikely to stay on Long Island, the Islanders need all of their prospects to continue to evolve and grow. Replacing a guy like Vanek is tough, but a 6’3″, 205 pound power forward slowly emerging as a rookie is a good place to start. Fans of the team know all too well how long it can sometimes take for players that rely on their strength to develop.
Kyle Okposo took more than 300 games to finally show his end-game form, and now he’s one of the most underrated players in the NHL while scoring more than a point per game on New York’s top line. It’s still way too early to tell if Nelson has that kind of player in him, this recent surge shows that he’s coming along nicely for the Islanders.
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