Islanders Re-Sign Brock Nelson: Details and Analysis

By J.A. Dominicis

Islanders fans can finally relax, because Thursday morning they woke up with the news that highly-touted restricted free agent Brock Nelson has signed a three-year, $7.5 million contract, according to Arthur Staple of Newsday. This comes just before the start of training camp, which is essential because if he had not been signed by the start of camp, he would likely sit out the season.

Who is Brock Nelson? We have only seen two seasons of him in the NHL and has already signed a contract with the length of three years, which is longer than a typical bridge contract (about one or two years).

After being a finalist for the Minnesota Mr. Hockey Award for the top high school player in Minnesota, he was selected 30th overall in the first round of the 2010 NHL Draft. The Islanders, who actually traded up to get this pick, were likely sold on Nelson’s speed and well-roundedness. It was a pretty talented part of the draft that also saw Evgeny Kuznetsov, Charlie Coyle and Emerson Etem get picked between numbers 25 and 30.

He then played for the University of North Dakota for two seasons. After a disappointing freshman year, he ramped up his game and notched 28 points in 42 games in the next season. During his freshman year, he also helped Team USA to win a bronze in the 2011 World Junior Hockey Championships. When his second season with North Dakota was over, he was called up to play for the Bridgeport Sound Tigers during their 2012 Calder Cup playoffs run.

After playing a full season with the Sound Tigers in 2012-13, Nelson made his NHL debut in a playoff game in 2013. The next season, Nelson made the Islanders roster and played 72 games, notching 26 points. Last season, however, Nelson increased his level of play and was able to get more playing time, while also registering 42 points, including 20 goals.

So is he worth the money? That is up for question, but I am greatly satisfied with the fact that he is locked up for three years. I thought that he was more likely to sign a one-year deal just to have him on board for the upcoming season. However, he will still need to prove himself to show he is worth a long-term contract once the three years are up.

What do you think, Islanders fans? Is this a good deal for Nelson and the Islanders? Comment below!

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