The New York Islanders got a career year out of Brock Nelson in 2018-2019, what can they expect out of him this year?
Last year, as an RFA, the New York Islanders gave Brock Nelson a one-year $4.25 million prove-it deal coming off a 35 point season. Boy did he make Lou Lamoriello look smart with a career year in 2018-2019.
There was no guarantee that Nelson was part of the future plans but he made that very clear early on last season. Brock starts every year strong, hence the nickname Brocktober. Usually, he cools off as it gets to November and the winter months. Not last year.
Brocktober was extended and became Brocksgiving and then it was Brockmas season. He never fell off the map and was one of the Islanders most consistent players all of last year.
Usually, the words Brock Nelson and consistent aren’t used in the same sentence together. last year, it absolutely was applicable. Nelson finished with a career-high of 53 points (25 goals, 28 assists). He also had a career-high in ice time.
Barry Trotz relied heavily on Nelson who averaged 17:58 of ice time per game. He essentially served as the number one center when nobody even wanted him to be the second-line center, and he was fantastic shutting up his doubters along the way.
In the playoffs, Nelson was very clutch notching four goals in eight games. Including this would be game-winning and series-clinching goal:
Due to his impressive season, he was rewarded with a contract extension on May 23, shortly after the season ended. Nelson was inked to a six-year $36 million deal including a NTC and Modified NTC along the way.
Never in a million years did I think Brock would get an AAV of $6 million and it would be a steal of a deal (see Kevin Hayes contract) yet here we are. Nelson is a long-term Islander and we are happy about it.
This year, Nelson should be on the second line alongside Josh Bailey. There’s a gaping hole on the other side right now that could be filled with Anthony Beauvillier, a prospect, or Tom Kuhnhackl so it’s hard to predict the entire line and his point total.
Regardless of who he’s playing with, Nelson should continue to be a 50 point player in the Barry Trotz system. I’ll say Nelson finishes with 50 points on the nose with 26 goals.
The Islanders power play should be improved this year which will give him that slight boost scoring-wise. There’s no reason to think he will give you a regression to the streaky 40 point player.