In the last game of the 2019-20 season before the break, Brock Nelson put up two goals in a shootout loss for the Isles. Those two goals put him at 26 goals for the year and 54 points (a career-high). Proving that 2018-19 was no fluke.
For years Brock Nelson was an enigma on the New York Islanders roster. It was clear that he was a talented individual, but was he giving us his full potential? For months Brock would seemingly disappear after starting the season on fire. Imagine what Brock could be if he could just be consistent?
And then in 2018-19, we got to see what a more consistent Brock Nelson could become. In 82 games, Nelson scored 25 goals and a career-high 28 assists for 53 points (then a career-high).
Almost over-night, Brock became the second-line center the Isles had been looking for since the departure of Frans Nielsen in the 2016 free agency period.
But was this the true Brock, or was he just getting a “Barry bounce”? Was his career year in 2018-19 due to his contract coming to an end and unrestricted free agency looming? Could he be the same player in 2019-20?
Armed with a new six-year $36 million contract Brock Nelson proved that his 53 point career-year in 2018-19 was no fluke.
Had the season gone a full 82 games, Brock was on pace to score 31 goals and 34 assists for 65 points. Crushing his previous career-high.
Why is this a feel-good story?
Brock becoming a true second-line center in the NHL is a feel-good story because it’s nice to know that there’s untapped potential in some players. It’s nice to know that guys who might be underperforming could blossom into something more with the right set of hands guiding them.