Brock Nelson was out as a part of the COVID Outbreak 2.0 with the Islanders. He did not play in either win over Buffalo or Edmonton but the good news is he returned to practice today along with Kyle Palmieri.
The return of Brock Nelson is absolutely something the Islanders will be looking forward to. He's played just 19 games, missing time with an injury and COVID, but when on the ice he's been the Islanders best forward.
He has 10 goals, tied for the lead on the team, and 13 points on the season. Barry Trotz relies on Nelson heavily in all situations and having his production and steady play back in the lineup would be a major plus.
As for Kyle Palmieri his return to the lineup is no guarantee. Trotz spoke very highly of the play of Kieffer Bellows and I for one don't know how you can possibly take him out of the lineup in favor of Palmieri right now.
Palmieri has just one goal on the year and has gone the last 11 games in a row without registering a single point. It's beyond frustrating the lack of production we've seen from him considering the role he's played in. At least with Zach Parise, he's making the veteran minimum and he at least skates hard and plays hard in a third line role. K.P. has spent a ton of time on the top line and has been a major let down.
The Islanders have until the 13th until they play next unfortunately, so there's a lot of time to sit on this one but ultimately, when they get these guys back the forward group should probably look something like this right now:
Lee - Barzal - Wahlstrom
Beauvillier - Nelson - Bellows
Parise - Pageau - Bailey
Martin - Cizikas - Clutterbuck
Until Kieffer Bellows' play drops off he can't come out, or if they want to send a message to Josh Bailey and have him sit if he struggles in favor of Kyle Palmieri that's justified too. Barry Trotz has options, he just can't play a veteran just to play him here though.