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Get to Know an Islander: Brock Nelson

As part of the build-up to the first-round playoff series between the Capitals and the Islanders, Japers' Rink will be looking at some of the important but perhaps lesser-known players on the Islanders and how they might impact the series.

Geoff Burke-USA TODAY Sports

Brock Nelson

#29 / Center / New York Islanders

6-3 |  196 |  Oct 15, 1991

Warroad, MN |  30th, 2010 (Islanders)

Assets Has excellent size for the center position, as well as good two-way upside. His hands are also an asset, especially right around the net. Can also play wing and is beastly in the corners.
Flaws Needs to work on his playmaking ability in order to maximize production at the highest level, especially to play center at the highest level. Also needs to work on his game-to-game consistency.
Career Potential Big, versatile two-way forward with upside.
(Assets, Flaws and Career Potential via The Hockey News player page)

Career Rolling Corsi-For Percentage:

brock nelson rolling corsi

HERO Chart (via Own The Puck):

Nelson HERO

2015 Islanders Player Usage:

nelson usage

Why you should know who he is: Acquired four picks after the Caps selected Evgeny Kuznetsov in 2010 (despite our advice), Brock isn't so much the star of the Islanders' rebuild venture as he is the supporting muscle for the talent. This year, he's finally come into his own as an NHL player and generally centers the second or third line, skating the fifth most minutes of any forward and providing some of the secondary scoring that makes the Islanders so dangerous. He's a big body with good hands who may be able to counteract the Capitals' heavy game, so if the Islanders have success, he'll likely be a part of it. He can beat you by cleaning up garbage by the net, but he also has a good enough shot that you need to cover him from distance as well:

How the Caps can stop him: Nelson isn't the kind of player that's going to skate the puck end-to-end or beat a lot of guys one-on-one, but he seems to have a knack for getting lost in the shuffle and reappearing right where a loose puck is. Diligent checking away from the puck is going to be necessary to prevent him from getting body position down near the net. Obviously, making him play in his own defensive zone is the best recipe for success, but Nelson's line will have their chances, and when things get hectic in the defensive zone, someone better turn around and find the elusive Brock Ness Monster.