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Isles' Frans Nielsen is a student with straight A's

New York Islanders center Frans Nielsen (51) celebrates

New York Islanders center Frans Nielsen (51) celebrates with goalie Chad Johnson (30) after scoring a hat trick and winning their game against the Dallas Stars, Saturday, Oct. 25, 2014. Credit: AP

Frans Nielsen does not think there is any tangible award that goes with being named one of the National Hockey League's three stars of the week, as he was on Monday. Nor does there need to be, as far as he is concerned. "Every day you step on the ice in this league it's a big honor, but to get recognized like that it's pretty special," he said. "It's definitely not something that happens every day for me."

Nielsen was honored following his first career hat trick Saturday. The three goals and the NHL's recognition shone a light on the progress Nielsen has made since he was a minor league center known mostly for defense.

"It's attention to detail," said Jack Capuano, his coach with the Sound Tigers and Islanders. "He does a lot of the right things, and when you do the right things it pays dividends for you. You could see early on in his career when he was in Bridgeport he was that kind of player."

The coach added that the center is a nonstop studier. "I watch a lot of hockey," Nielsen said. "I think it's really important to watch other players."

Chevy comes home

Jets general manager Kevin Cheveldayoff enjoyed one last visit to the Coliseum. Twenty-five years ago, he was an Islanders defense prospect, making an arduous comeback from a career-threatening knee injury. Back then, the Manitoba resident became known as "our adopted Islander" in the East Northport home of the Brandel family. During his own rehab in 1990, he encouraged the family's two young sons, who had been injured in a car accident. The Brandels were Cheveldayoff's guests at the Jets' morning skate Tuesday.

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