The New York Islanders locked down shutdown forward Frans Nielsen to a four-year, $11 million deal according to TSN’s Bob McKenzie. Nielsen would have been an unrestricted free agent this summer if this deal hadn’t been reached.
2012-13: $2 million
Nielsen doesn’t get much press because he’s a defensive forward, but he’d be the kind of sturdy two-way player who’d turn some heads if he played on a playoff contender.
Nielsen averages 2:09 shorthanded time per game, good for third overall on the Islanders and No. 1 among the team’s forwards. His offensive output isn’t half-bad, either, with nine goals and 25 points in 51 games this season.
Naturally, Nielsen lacks the platform to get the recognition of a Dave Bolland-type asset because he plays for the Islanders. That being said, if the young squad turns things around soon, he’s likely to be a very valuable piece – and at a reasonable price, too.
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It’s going to be interesting to see if Hammond can replicate the success he had last season, when he came out of nowhere to go 20-1-2 with a 1.79 GAA and .941 save percentage, and finish seventh in Vezina voting.