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New York Islanders Third Line Center Free Agent Options

GLENDALE, AZ - JANUARY 22: Brock Nelson #29 of the New York Islanders reacts during the third period of the NHL game against the Arizona Coyotes at Gila River Arena on January 22, 2018 in Glendale, Arizona. The Coyotes defeated the Islanders 3-2 in overtime. (Photo by Christian Petersen/Getty Images)
GLENDALE, AZ - JANUARY 22: Brock Nelson #29 of the New York Islanders reacts during the third period of the NHL game against the Arizona Coyotes at Gila River Arena on January 22, 2018 in Glendale, Arizona. The Coyotes defeated the Islanders 3-2 in overtime. (Photo by Christian Petersen/Getty Images)
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PHILADELPHIA, PA – MARCH 12: Valtteri Filppula #51 of the Philadelphia Flyers and Erik Haula #56 of the Vegas Golden Knights fight for the puck in the third period on March 12, 2018 at Wells Fargo Center in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. (Photo by Elsa/Getty Images)
PHILADELPHIA, PA – MARCH 12: Valtteri Filppula #51 of the Philadelphia Flyers and Erik Haula #56 of the Vegas Golden Knights fight for the puck in the third period on March 12, 2018 at Wells Fargo Center in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. (Photo by Elsa/Getty Images)

Valtteri Filppula | Philadelphia Flyers

Valtteri Filppula is seven years removed from his 66 point season with the Detroit Red Wings. He’s 32 going on 33-years-old. He won’t put up those numbers anymore. But what he will get you is a consistent effort every night.

Which again, is the entire reason the New York Islanders would be trading Brock Nelson in this scenario. The Islanders could cash in on his production and the promise of even more hidden goals in Nelson’s game to bring in a need on the blueline or in nets.

Filppula would come into the team to slot behind John Tavares and Mathew Barzal on the center depth chart and act like a Frans Nielsen type of player on line three. A player that can play in all three zones.

Through 81 games with the Philadelphia Flyers last season Filppula put up 33 points. An alright return for someone to slot in behind Tavares and Barzal. Just like Brock, Filppula was deployed predominantly in the defensive zone with a 53.1 percent defensive zone starts in 2017-18.

But unlike Brock Nelson, Filppula won a majority of his faceoffs. Brock won 48.3 percent to Filppula’s 51.4 percent.

Again, Filppula isn’t an upgrade in terms of production over Brock Nelson. Rather the reason the Islanders go for the cup winner in 2008 is for a consistent effort on and off the puck. Something that Brock Nelson wasn’t giving to the New York Islanders.

At 34 the Islanders should be able to get Filppula for less than his $5 million AAV from last season. Anything less than a three-year deal would be optimal for the Islanders.

Potential Contract: Two years, $6 million ($3 million AAV)

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