Donovan and Nelson Named to US Team at World Championships

Islanders rookies to skate at 2014 World Championships in Minsk

Tuesday, 04.15.2014 / 4:27 PM ET / News
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Donovan and Nelson Named to US Team at World Championships
Islanders rookies to skate at 2014 World Championships in Minsk
Brock Nelson and Matt Donovan impressed the New York Islanders coaches and management during their rookie season’s and seemingly made an impact on the USA Hockey brass as well.

After stellar first seasons, the Isles youngsters were both named to Team USA for the upcoming IIHF World Hockey Championships taking place from May 9-25 in Minsk, Belarus.

“It’s a pretty big honor any chance you get to represent your country,” Nelson, a native of Warroad, MN, said. “I remember taking a part in the world juniors and it was pretty special. Looking back on that, I am expecting something pretty similar, maybe even a little bit more special.”

Nelson scored 26 points (14 goals, 12 assists) in 72 games as a rookie, finishing fifth on the team in goals by the end of the season. The 22-year-old scored twice in the final three games of the season, including the game-tying and game-deciding shootout goals in the Islanders season finale.

Donovan, a native of Edmond, OK, is the second Oklahoma-born player to be selected – and first defenseman – to a World Championship squad following Oklahoma City native Tyler Arnason in 2007. The Islanders defenseman scored 16 points (two goals, 14 assists) in 52 games on the Islanders blueline and was also a standout player in his limited time in the American League this season, scoring 21 points (seven goals, 14 assists) in 21 games. Despite playing a quarter of the season, Donovan finished sixth in team scoring.

“I am just excited to be able to get the call and represent my country again,” Donovan said. “I was privileged enough to win a gold medal at the world junior championships. To wear the USA jersey was an unforgettable experience.”

Both players have previously suited up for Team USA at the World Junior Hockey Championships. Donovan took home gold in 2010, while Nelson won bronze in 2011. Donovan becomes the first Islanders defenseman since Jack Hillen to play for the team at the Worlds, while Nelson is the first Isles forward since Kyle Okposo suited up for Team USA in 2012. Donovan and Nelson are the first Islanders duo to play for Team USA since Hillen and Okposo went together in 2010.

“I’ve never done anything overseas or played in any sort of international tournament aside from the World Juniors [in Buffalo],” Nelson said. “It would be really cool to go over together and share this experience.”

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STANDINGS

EASTERN CONFERENCE
  TEAM GP W L OT GF GA PTS
1 x - NYR 76 48 21 7 231 179 103
2 x - MTL 77 47 22 8 203 174 102
3 x - TBL 78 47 24 7 250 204 101
4 NYI 77 45 27 5 235 215 95
5 PIT 77 42 24 11 211 194 95
6 WSH 77 42 25 10 227 190 94
7 DET 76 40 23 13 221 208 93
8 BOS 77 39 25 13 204 198 91
9 OTT 76 38 26 12 220 204 88
10 FLA 77 35 27 15 192 210 85
11 PHI 77 31 29 17 202 220 79
12 CBJ 76 37 35 4 210 234 78
13 NJD 77 31 33 13 170 197 75
14 CAR 76 28 37 11 176 208 67
15 TOR 78 29 43 6 204 249 64
16 BUF 77 22 47 8 152 258 52

STATS

2014-2015 REGULAR SEASON
SKATERS: GP G A +/- Pts
J. Tavares 77 34 43 -2 77
R. Strome 76 16 32 20 48
K. Okposo 55 16 31 -11 47
F. Nielsen 76 14 28 8 42
B. Nelson 77 19 22 7 41
A. Lee 71 23 16 10 39
J. Bailey 65 15 23 3 38
J. Boychuk 67 8 25 9 33
N. Leddy 73 10 21 14 31
T. Hamonic 67 5 26 16 31
 
GOALIES: W L OT Sv% GAA
J. Halak 36 16 2 .913 2.42
M. Neuvirth 1 3 1 .881 2.94

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