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 MTL 74 46 20 8 195 162 100
2 NYR 72 46 19 7 219 167 99
3 TBL 74 46 21 7 242 191 99
4 NYI 74 44 25 5 226 205 93
5 PIT 73 40 22 11 202 181 91
6 DET 72 39 21 12 208 195 90
7 WSH 73 39 24 10 212 180 88
8 OTT 72 37 24 11 212 190 85
9 BOS 73 36 25 12 193 190 84
10 FLA 73 33 26 14 180 201 80
11 PHI 75 30 29 16 196 216 76
12 NJD 73 31 31 11 164 186 73
13 CBJ 73 34 35 4 198 228 72
14 CAR 72 26 36 10 165 199 62
15 TOR 74 27 41 6 193 237 60
16 BUF 73 20 46 7 138 245 47

STATS

2014-2015 REGULAR SEASON
SKATERS: GP G A +/- Pts
J. Tavares 74 34 40 2 74
K. Okposo 52 15 31 -7 46
R. Strome 73 15 30 19 45
B. Nelson 74 18 22 9 40
F. Nielsen 73 12 28 9 40
A. Lee 68 23 16 15 39
J. Bailey 62 15 22 8 37
J. Boychuk 64 7 25 12 32
N. Leddy 70 10 19 18 29
T. Hamonic 64 5 24 15 29
 
GOALIES: W L OT Sv% GAA
J. Halak 35 15 2 .914 2.38
C. Johnson 8 8 1 .889 3.08

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