The New York Islanders needed Brock Nelson to step up when they lost John Tavares. So far, he’s done that and so much more for the Isles.
Once John Tavares decided to leave the New York Islanders, it became clear that Mathew Barzal was the number one center. The real question was who would then slot into the second line role to replace Barzy.
The Islanders brought in Jan Kovar, they signed Valtteri Filppula, and then, of course, there was old whipping boy Brock Nelson. One of them would come away with the role and it ended up being Brock Nelson. Brock was coming off his worst year with the team putting up 35 points (19 goals, 16 assists).
Nelson usually starts out hot and then goes ice cold until the snow melts and the spring air begins to come out. This year was different though.
Naturally, Brock started well in October, putting up seven points in 11 games in October, but it’s his play in November that’s been a shock. Before this year, Brock had 29 points in 65 games in the month of November in his career.
Now with 11 points in 11 games so far in November 2018, he’s brought that up to 40 points in 76 games, a much more respectable number. Is this finally going to be the year that Brock Nelson ends his mid-season slumber?
It certainly seems that way right now and he’s thriving on both ends of the ice in his expanded role. He’s averaging roughly 3:30 more ice time per game than he did last season and it’s working wonders for him.
Barry Trotz has Brock, and the Isles, clicking on all cylinders. Granted, I’m not ready to sign Nelson, pending UFA, to a long-term deal just yet but I am happy that he’s playing good hockey right now.
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