Islanders: Brock Nelson Expectations For 2021-2022
By Matt O'Leary
It’s still crazy to think about just how far Brock Nelson has come with the New York Islanders. Before Barry Trotz, the Nelson act of disappearing from November through March was growing old and Islanders fans were about done with him.
Now, three years into the Barry Trotz era, he’s unanimously appreciated as one of the more important Islanders on the team.
Last year was solid for Nelson putting up 33 points (18 goals, 15 assists) which would pace him out to 48 points and 26 goals. The point total was down slightly but when looking at the full picture, Brock was solid as a second-line center.
It was a second year in a row of a strong playoff performance, with 12 points (7 goals, 5 assists) in 19 playoff games. His three-point night in Game 6 against the Penguins is what I will remember most from his season.
The Beauvillier – Nelson – Bailey line was phenomenal for the Islanders last season. They played 358:37 of ice time together and had a 50.56 CF%, 73.08 GF%, 61.29 HDCF%, and a 78.57 HDGF at 5v5 according to Natural Stat Trick.
All three players from this line are back for 2021-2022, so it’s likely safe to assume they will stick together again this season.
Brock Nelson 2021-2022 expectations
Consistency is the biggest change of Brock Nelson’s game over the past three years. He’s someone who used to come flying out of the gate in October and then go cold, so this go around I expect a strong October that carries through the remainder of the season.
Playing with Anthony Beauvillier and Josh Bailey, Brock will average 18:05 of ice time per night, continue to get power play time, and have a faceoff win percentage just over 50%.
Stat-wise, I think we’re looking at a 57 point season (26 goals, 31 assists) over a full 82 game season.
Over the last two years, Nelson has shot exactly at 14.9%, this season I think the number comes down slightly to 13.5% but the number of shots he generated the last time there was an 82 game season (181) will go up.
If the Islanders are a playoff team again, which on paper they should be, Nelson will again be a major contributor producing at a .70 points per game pace in the playoffs.