16: Brock Nelson struggles as the 2nd line center
Brock Nelson had a really down year in 2017-2018 as the third line center for the New York Islanders. Nelson finished the season with 35 points, after three straight years of 40 or more points.
With John Tavares leaving it’s assumed that Nelson will be the second line center this year which makes that position look like a glaring issue.
Nelson will likely be playing with Anders Lee and one of Jordan Eberle or Josh Bailey. All three of those wingers are excellent and should be able to easily eclipse the 50 point mark. Despite all this Nelson will still struggle.
We’ve said it hundreds of times on this website, Brock Nelson is better suited to play wing than play center. Once December rolls around and the high of “Brocktober” has worn off, Nelson will be moved to wing and Jan Kovar will be called up to play center.
Nelson will put up 41 points and walk at the end of the year to a sucker team who is willing to give him a multi-year deal worth $5 million. Thankfully, Lou Lamoriello will not be that sucker and the Islanders can finally move on from the Nelson experiment.