Islanders Summer Report Card: Frans Nielsen


May 9, 2013; Pittsburgh, PA, USA; New York Islanders center

Frans Nielsen

(51) takes the ice before playing the Pittsburgh Penguins in game five of the first round of the 2013 Stanley Cup Playoffs at CONSOL Energy Center.


Student Report

  • Name : Frans Nielsen
  • Evaluation Year: 2013
  • Age: 29
  • Undergraduate: 2007
  • Days Absent: 0
  • Scholarship: Signed thru 2016 at $2.75M per year
  • Achievements: 48 GP, 6 G, 23 A, 29 PTS, 12PIM

Class List & Grade History

  • Skating: A-
  • Shooting: B
  • Passing: A-
  • Defense: B
  • Leadership: B+

Professor Comments:

Frans Nielsen was once called “our best all-around player” by Doug Weight. He is not a flashy scorer like John Tavares, he is not lightning quick like Michael Grabner, and he is not going to play defense and stop shots like Andrew MacDonald. What he will do however, is a little bit of everything. He is a tremendous all around player who plays with a lot of heart. Even though he only tallied 6 goals and 23 assists this season, he is only getting better.

He was drafted 87th overall by the Isles in 2002. After playing in parts of 7 seasons with the Islanders, he will be entering his 6th full season with the team. He has played in a total of 367 NHL games and has amassed 60 goals and 136 assists.

Of course, we cannot talk about Frans without mentioning his shootout prowess. Although he did falter a few times late in the season, which is extremely uncharacteristic for him, the 29-year-old Dane, is still the NHL’s Shootout King. With a success rate of more than 60%, no one is better in the shootout than Frans. Nielsen uses the “Danish Backhand of Judgement,” to confuse and befuddle goaltenders into going down too early. He then lifts the puck over the sprawled out netminder and wrinkles the twine for shootout success.

Even though the stats don’t always show it, Frans Nielsen is an important cog in the success of this team going forward. His career high in points is 47, but I fully expect him to eclipse that next season. I would not be surprised to see a 50-60 point season with 20+ goals.

Nielsen is the first Danish citizen to ever play in the NHL. He will be an Islander, and a role model for young Danish players, for a long time to come.

Professor’s Recommendation:

The Isles have Frans locked up through 2015-16. So, unless they get an incredible trade offer, he’s not going anywhere. In 2010-11, he led the NHL in shorthanded goals, with 7, and even scored on 2 penalty shots. He is one of those underrated players who you don’t really hear much about. Why? Because he is not a 30-40 goal scorer and he is not a heavy hitter or a fighter. Nielsen is the very definition of secondary scoring. He is not going to be your first line center, but on the 2nd or 3rd line this is the type of grind it out, heart on your sleeve player every team is looking for.

Now it’s your turn to chime in ladies and gentleman. Should we keep Frans or have you seen enough of him and want him gone? Vote in the poll below and let your voice be heard!