Kukla's Korner Hockey
by William Morrison on 09/02/11 at 06:03 PM ET
Coming into what will be his fourth full season with the New York Islanders, Frans Nielsen is becoming quite a consistent hockey player. After posting 9 goals and 24 assists in just 59 games during his rookie season, he tallied 12 goals and 26 assists in 76 games during the 2009-2010 season. Last season, Nielsen had another consistent, solid season posting 13 goals and 31 assists in 71 games played. These numbers might not blow you away, but they are only a small indication of what Nielsen does on the ice. Nielsen is the third best Islanders forward in the faceoff circle. Nielsen also led the NHL in shorthanded goals last season with seven and is an integral part of the Islanders penalty kill. He has also shown tremendous leadership both on and off the ice.
Nielsen is also one of the candidates to be the Islanders captain this season. I think Mark Streit will the captain of the Isles this season, but that is not because Nielsen is not capable or doesn’t have the talent. Read more on my NYI captaincy discussion here. My prediction is that Nielsen will tally 15 goals and 33 assists this season-an even better season than he had last year. As the probable second line center on a line with Michael Grabner and Kyle Okposo, Nielsen has the potential to have a breakout season. This is Nielsen’s contract season and all indications are that Nielsen wants to remain an Islander as long as he can. Hopefully the Islanders can re-sign their must underrated player and keep him around for the long-term.
What Doug Weight brings to this Islanders team as an assistant coach cannot be understated. He has been there before, he has won a Stanley Cup, and knows what it takes to help get young players through an 82 game season. With Carolina in 2006, Weight helped young players such as Eric Staal and Cam Ward win the Stanley Cup. With so many young, talented players on the Islanders, Weight’s influence throughout this season will be integral in the Isles playoff run. Weight was essentially a coach on the ice for the last three seasons as a player for the Islanders and is a fantastic addition to their bench.
NCAA Prospects Scheduling Highlights
TII will provide a weekly update on the Islanders NCAA prospects. Below are the season start dates for each NCAA Islanders prospect and a look at some key games for each team. For TII’s breakdown of each prospect, click here.
Anders Lee-Notre Dame. Notre Dame could not begin the season with two tougher games. The Irish play a season opening series at defending national champion Minnesota Duluth. You can bet that Amsoil Arena will be rockin’ when the Irish come to town on October 7th and 8th. To highlight the rest of Notre Dame’s schedule, Boston University comes to South Bend on December 31st for a New Year’s Eve tilt and the Irish travel to Minnesota on January 7, 2012.
Brock Nelson-University of North Dakota. UND opens the season by hosting the Ice Breakers tournament with Air Force, Boston College, and Michigan State on October 7th and 8th. UND will play Air Force on Friday night and then either BC or MSU on Saturday night. The next two weekends will be tough for UND as they host Maine for a weekend tilt and then travel to Madison to face Wisconsin for two games. UND will face defending national champion Minnesota Duluth on February 10th and 11th. UND concludes the regular season with a home tilt against Minnesota State on March 3rd.
Corey Trivino-Boston University. BU opens the season with a home game against New Hampshire on October 8th. The Terriers will play Cornell at Madison Square Garden on November 26th in a Thanksgiving weekend game. The Beanpot tournament begins on February 6, 2012 with BU taking on Harvard.
Jason Clark-University of Wisconsin. Wisconsin opens the season with two games against Northern Michigan in the Kohl Center on October 7th and 8th. UW then plays two games against Michigan Tech before a huge series against UND on October 21st and 22nd. UW faces the defending national champions on December 9th and 10th in the Kohl Center. The Badgers conclude their regular season against rival Minnesota on March 2nd and 3rd in Minneapolis.
Scott Mayfield-University of Denver. Denver opens the season October 14th and 15th with games against Boston College and BU. The Pioneers will face the defending national champion Minnesota Duluth in a two game series at home on November 4th and 5th. Denver hosts the Denver Cup Classic over Thanksgiving weekend with games against Princeton and Miami University. Denver concludes the regular season in Omaha, Nebraska with two games against Nebraska-Omaha on March 2nd and 3rd.
Cody Rosen-Clarkson University. Clarkson opens the season by participating in the Kendall Classic in Anchorage, Alaska facing off against the University of Alaska-Anchorage and the University of Alaska-Fairbanks. Clarkson opens their home season with two games the following weekend against Sacred Heart in Cheel Arena. Clarkson begins the ECAC season with games against Rensselaer and Union College on November 4th and 5th. Clarkson travels to Maine on November 26th and will also face Maine in the Florida College Classic on December 29th. Clarkson concludes the regular season on the road at Harvard on February 25th.
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About Kukla's Korner Hockey
Paul Kukla founded Kukla’s Korner in 2005 and the site has since become the must-read site on the ‘net for all the latest happenings around the NHL.
From breaking news to in-depth stories around the league, KK Hockey is updated with fresh stories all day long and will bring you the latest news as quickly as possible.
Email Paul anytime at firstname.lastname@example.org