Isles work late to draft Brock Nelson
Friday, 06.25.2010 / 11:54 PM / News
By Tom Liodice
LOS ANGELES -- As the first night of the 2010 NHL Entry Draft was coming to an end, the Islanders were not.
To put a cap on the night, the Islanders acquired the 30th overall selection from the Stanley Cup Champion Chicago Blackhawks in exchange for the 35th and 58th selection. With that pick, the Islanders selected 19-year-old center Brock Nelson from Warroad High School in Minnesota.
In 25 games with Warroad HS, Nelson recorded a point in every game, notching 39 goals and 34 assists. He was one of 10 finals for the Mr. Hockey Award, which is given to the most outstanding senior high school hockey player in the state of Minnesota.
Nelson will also attend the University of North Dakota next season.
"North Dakota is a great place with a storied hockey tradition," Nelson. "Both of my uncles played there so seeing them, knowing they played there kind of influenced it. And seeing all the guys that go through there and on to the NHL kind of shows that I want to do the same thing."
His uncle, Dave Christian was a member of the 1980 US Olympic mens hockey gold-medal winning hockey team. The lineage of gold doesn’t end there.
His grandfather Billy Christian and great uncle Roger Christian were members of the 1960 US Olympic gold medal winning hockey team as well.
So what does Nelson know about the current Islanders on-ice product?
"I’ve seen a little bit of them," Nelson said. "I know they have a lot of young talent and they're on the rise. They should be a great franchise in a few year and win the Stanley Cup. Hopefully I can develop as a player and continue to work hard and get there as well."
Nelson also respects the history the Islanders have as well.
"It's an honor, knowing they have all those guys and the franchise that they have. It's great just being able to be up there."
Although he was drafted last on the first night, and doesn’t have to wait until the second day to find out whether he will be drafted or not, Nelson knows the journey doesn’t end here at the Draft.
"I know inside that if you get drafted first or 100th you still have to work," Nelson said. "It just starts now and now is the journey."