Brock Nelson was having a quiet offensive season through his first 52 games, scoring just 10 goals and assisting on seven others. But the Islanders’ third-line center has started to deliver first-rate production these last four games.
His last one was the best one. Nelson scored a hat trick in the 7-6 comeback win over Detroit Friday night at Barclays Center, finishing it with an overtime goal.
The Isles need him to keep up the good work in their push for the playoffs.
“He’s an important piece of our team, a guy I think everyone is rooting for,” Andrew Ladd said Saturday at Northwell Health Ice Center. “I’m glad to see him get on the board and get some confidence going.”
Nelson owns seven points in the four-game span, including four goals.
“I just think it’s playing simple and fast,” Nelson said. “Playing with Ladder and [Cal Clutterbuck] has been a good mix. We’ve been able to kind of use speed and cause some turnovers. Just trying to create some o-zone possession and create some chances. Not making crazy plays, just kind of simple, easy to read off guys. Just trying to play north-south.”
The Islanders will have a video tribute for Travis Hamonic when he returns with Calgary Sunday night. The 27-year-old defenseman played his first seven seasons with them before being traded last June. He has one goal and six assists and is even in the plus-minus column in 51 games.
“A heart-and-soul guy,” Nelson said. “ . . . Obviously, a great guy on and off the ice. He was a leader for us. Put everything into it. It’s always weird playing a guy you kind of become close with after a while . . . It’ll definitely be different to see him on the other side back at our place.”