Andrew Ladd is going to have a chance to restart his NHL career to an extent after the New York Islanders traded him to the Arizona Coyotes in the offseason. Ladd recently joined former NHLer John Scott on his podcast to talk about his career from junior to his recent move to Arizona.
During the chat, Ladd inevitably spoke about his time on the Island, and the part which struck me the most was how he talked about former teammate Brock Nelson.
Andrew Ladd believes New York Islanders Brock Nelson is a special player
Here’s the full quote from Ladd on Brock Nelson:
"Brock Nelson, people don’t talk about him a whole lot, is a special player in my mind, and someone who impacts the game at both ends of the ice, is a big-game player. People don’t talk about him nearly enough."
Ever since Barry Trotz arrived on the Island Brock Nelson has transformed into a brand new player. Gone is the third-line winger that angered so many fans by showing up in October and then drifting in and out of games the rest of the season.
And look, Barry Trotz didn’t do anything revolutionary with Brock Nelson. By his own statements, Trotz knew Nelson was better than the role he was slotted in. All Trotz did was have confidence his instinct was right and put the player in a position that suited his skill set. And Nelson flourished.
Not only has Nelson put up career numbers since Barry Trotz took over, but he’s become one of the Islanders most consistent two-way players.
Then consider his playoff scoring rate. Over the last three years, Brock has had 34 points in 49 games, a 0.69 point-per-game pace. An increase (although slightly) to his 0.68 point-per-game pace in the regular season. In the playoffs, Nelson finds another gear on top of the level we didn’t know he had just three years ago.
I know that Andrew Ladd calling Brock Nelson special might not mean much to some, but he’s still a 15-year NHL vet with 950 NHL games under his belt and two Stanley Cup rings on his fingers. He’s seen a lot of talent in the NHL, he knows what he’s talking about and Brock’s numbers back up that statement.