New York Islanders: Stanley Cup Playoffs Profile, Brock Nelson

New York Islanders. Brok Nelson. (Photo by Bruce Bennett/Getty Images)
New York Islanders. Brok Nelson. (Photo by Bruce Bennett/Getty Images) /

New York Islanders forward Brock Nelson is one of many Islander players who is set to be a free agent this summer. Aside from a career year so far, a memorable run in the playoffs could help him get his pay-day too.

The New York Islanders have quite a few players who are set to hit the free agent market on July 1 and perhaps none of them are more intriguing than Brock Nelson. While a guy like Anders Lee is almost a lock to be re-signed, a guy like Nelson is not. While centers do not grow on trees in the NHL, and Nelson is one, is his career year because of the new coaching or does he know he needs to be good to cash in?

None of that matter right now, however, because the Islanders and any and all player should be focused on just one thing, the Stanley Cup playoffs. Nelson, in my opinion could go from a guy who the Isles should probably strongly consider bringing back to a guy they would have choice but to over the course of the next few weeks.

The Islanders haven’t had a true playoff hero in quite sometime the one I would say is not beating trying to beat them playing for a different team in the same conference and Shawn Bates’ penalty shot was all the way back in 2002 in a series the Islanders eventually lost. So, while it can be anybody this year, if anyone, why not Brock Nelson?

In his NHL career, Brock Nelson has played in 480 games, notching 125 goals, and 241 points. This season alone, he has 25 goals and 53 points. Both of those are career highs. Nelson has only notched eight power play points, meaning he is incredible on five on five, which is built for the playoffs with different OT rules, Arthur Staple got more into his success this year on the Athletic (subscription required), but this article isn’t fully about that, that is just important to note in terms of how the playoffs are played.

So far in his career, Nelson has been in the playoffs with the Islanders each of the last three times the blue and orange have made it. In each season, he has played progressively more and more. He played just one game in 2012-2013, six in 2014-2015, and then all 11 in the 2015-2016 mini-run.

In total, that is 18 games, where he has seven points (he did notch two goals in one playoff game once), a negative five rating, In all of that, the Islanders just won one of those playoff series. It also includes a series loss to the Penguins, the same team they play beginning with game 1 on Wednesday.

Maybe comparing the old Brock Nelson under the Jack Capuano/Doug Weight days to the Brock Nelson now is apples to oranges, but the stage and magnitude of the Stanley Cup playoffs is exactly the same as it has always been, perhaps every minuted of those 18 games can be applied to Nelson’s game beginning this week.

dark. Next. Stanley Cup Playoffs Profile, Anders Lee

Brock Nelson is a capable top six center in the NHL. He is going to garner a lot of interest no matter the depth of this Isles playoff run. However, the Islanders are bolstering their system and already gave Nelson a prove it year for this year, they might not feel inclined to keep him. If doubles his career playoff stats, or even slightly better them, the Isles might just be inclined to give him what he is worth. It is hard to put a price tag on a playoff hero. Let’s see if Nelson does.