As the New York Islanders off-season continues to move along, the question lingers will they make one more big move this summer? Putting that question aside this is a critical year for Brock Nelson and whether or not he stays on Long Island long-term.
The soon to be 26-year old Brock Nelson is on the last year of his three-year deal ($2.5 million cap number) with the New York Islanders. The Minnesota native will become a restricted free agent next summer.
Much is on the line for Nelson.
From a statistical point of view, Nelson, the Isles second, first-rounder in 2010 (30th overall) has been pretty good. The University of North Dakota product has lit the lamp at least 20 times the last three seasons. Not many NHLers can say that.
New York Islanders
In fact, while all of the off-season hoopla has been about the Isles trying to acquire stud-forward Matt Duchene, Nelson only trails him by three goals over the last three years.
Nelson at times can look dominant with his wrist shot and his play. However, far too often he is invisible during the season. Consistency has been his biggest issue.
The 2017-18 season is a critical one for Nelson. Both personally and as his tenure as an Islander. If Nelson continues to be an inconsistent player, even if he scores 20+ goals in the 2017-18 season, odds are Garth Snow will move him next summer.
However, if Nelson were to put everything together in his fifth full NHL season, a very large contract extension awaits him next summer. Given that one would think Nelson is working harder this off-season than he every has in prior years, so he puts himself in a position that 2017-18 is a special year for him.
The ball (or the puck) is in Nelson’s court. Putting Nelson at left wing on rookie Mathew Barzal’s line maybe the best recipe for Brock’s success. One of Barzal’s strength is getting the best out of his line-mates.
Still, Could be Moved?
It’s not impossible that Nelson could still be moved this summer. As long as the rumors of the Isles pushing very hard for Alex Galchenyuk are alive and well, it’s still a possibility Nelson is elsewhere next season.
It’s no secret Garth wants to add another significant piece this summer. Nelson could be the player who is moved to land that second big fish.
It’s time for Brock Nelson to show the entire Islander organization that he should be considered a core player for years to come.