NHL trade rumors: Latest on Brock Nelson, Islanders silence - Metro US

NHL trade rumors: Latest on Brock Nelson, Islanders silence

Brock Nelson. (Photo: Getty Images)

The NHL trade deadline hasn’t necessarily been a strength of the New York Islanders and general manager, Garth Snow, considering the franchise has not made a serious move to help aid a playoff push since 2007. 

Now more than ever, the Islanders have to make a notable move if they want to do make the playoffs and show pending free agent John Tavares that they are committed to a winning future. 

Entering Monday night’s slate of NHL games, the Islanders sit two points behind the Columbus Blue Jackets for the final Eastern Conference wild-card spot despite possessing the worst defense in the league. 

Their blue-line unit is the No. 1 reason why New York does not currently sit comfortably within a playoff spot considering the offense is a top-five unit in the league while the goaltending has started to improve. 

Yet Snow hasn’t done a thing to improve the defense besides trading a third-round draft pick for Brandon Davidson, a young defenseman that has struggled to bolster down regular playing time in the pro ranks. 

With three hours remaining before the NHL’s 3 p.m. trade deadline, there is no indication that the Islanders and Snow are on the cusp of making a move. 

Per the Athletic’s Arthur Staple, all skaters were “accounted for” during New York’s Monday morning skate. The only name he included in possible trade talks was forward Brock Nelson, who “they’d include in the right package,” should it present itself. 

Nelson has fallen out of favor with the Islanders, once a prospective first-line winger now playing on the third line while Anders Lee has developed into a 30-plus goal scorer and Anthony Beauvillier continues to develop into a playmaker alongside Mathew Barzal. 

With 19 games remaining this season, Nelson is on pace for his worst season since his rookie campaign in 2013-14. With just 14 points and 11 assists, the 26-year-old’s development has been disappointing. 

But a change of scenery could be what’s needed for Nelson, who scored 20 or more goals in each of the last three seasons, including a career-best 26 two years ago. If a team views him as a possible second-line winger who could hold the prospect of scoring close to 30 goals, the Islanders could use that as a way to address the defense. 

History suggests that it won’t happen, but there is still some time for Snow to surprise the hockey world. 

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