The New York Islanders have a number of unrestricted free agents come season’s end. One of them is Brock Nelson and Lou Lamoriello and the Islanders need to re-sign him.
This year New York Islanders President – General Manager Lou Lamoriello wanted to see what he had regarding the Isles roster. Part of the evaluation process was determining what to do with the team’s pending UFA’s.
Brock Nelson should be part of the blue and orange future moving forward.
This has been Nelson’s best season of his career. He should post career highs in points (career high is 45 points & already has 43) and at the same time has been a really good complete player (+19 rating) for Barry Trotz.
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In years past Nelson would disappear for long stretches during the season. For the most part, Nelson has been a consistent two-way pivot for the Islanders this season.
Going into the season questions abound regarding Nelson. Could he play center? Could he be a consistent player? Could he step up with the departure of John Tavares?
Nelson has answered the bell to these pre-season questions.
Case for Nelson
Nelson doesn’t turn 28 until October, so he is in the prime of his career and has a number of good years ahead of him.
Even an inconsistent Nelson scored 20 goals a season along with 40 points. A focused Nelson is one that will post 20+ goals, 50+ points while playing a two-way game.
In addition, if the Isles let Nelson walk there aren’t a lot of options to replace him. Everyone was hoping Lou would land Matt Duchene at the deadline but instead he ended up in Columbus. Odds are he signs with the Blue Jackets. Believe or not Nelson could be the second best option at center on the free agent market come July 1st. It’s between Nelson and Kevin Hayes.
In terms of in-house options to replace Nelson at center, it’s a short list. Other than Otto Koivula who is having a terrific year in Bridgeport (17 Goals, 40 Points, +16 in 54 Games) it’s hard to find a good internal candidate.
The only other option is the trade market and trading for a center is a very difficult proposition.
Yes, signing a player such as Nelson who has been very inconsistent in the past to a long-term deal should give any GM pause. But with Trotz behind the bench, he is going to demand a focused Nelson. Do you think it’s a coincidence that Nelson is having his best season with Trotz guiding the Islanders?
Probably going to take a deal between five-six years with an annual value between $5.5-$6.0 million to resign Nelson. That is a deal the Islanders should make.