Current Deal: $4.25 million
So far Brock Nelson hasn’t been turning heads at training camp. But to be fair he hasn’t had much game time with his new potential linemates in Anders Lee and Josh Bailey.
It’s hard to see Brock Nelson as a center. He isn’t exactly that driving force offensively. He isn’t known for his ability to generate a play, to push the puck up the ice, or even to backcheck. The role of a center is to control that 200-feet of ice from crease to crease. Brock Nelson isn’t that type of player.
It’s hard to see Brock Nelson excelling while playing at center. Even when his linemates are Anders Lee and Josh Bailey. But the New York Islanders seem content on playing him down the middle.
Better season: 39 points +
With that being said I think Brock Nelson will have a better season in 2018-19 then he did in 2017-18. He’ll probably get back to his 40 point self again.
It won’t be due to Brock Nelson playing with good linemates necessarily, although that certainly helps, but playing for that next contract one that could easily fetch him at least $5 million per year.
Remember that in the three seasons before 2017-18 Brock Nelson averaged 42.5 points per season. His highest return was that 45 point season in 2016-17.
Cap Hit: $5.25 million, Three Years
You might not think of Brock Nelson as a $5 million player but look at the market. New York Rangers Kevin Hayes signed a single year $5.175 million deal after two years of 40+ point production. If Brock puts up another 40, that would be four years of 40 point production.
I don’t think Lou wants to tie down Brock Nelson for long-term, a three-year deal allows the team to pay the player his value and give themselves some flexibility to move him in the event they might need to.