Brock Nelson Turns Pro, Signs With Islanders

UND’s top goal scorer has turned pro.

Sophomore Brock Nelson has signed a three-year contract with the New York Islanders, giving up his final two years of college eligibility. The Isles drafted Nelson in the first round a couple of years ago.

Nelson manned the left wing on UND’s top line, scoring 28 goals and racking up 47 points in 42 games.

The former Warroad star finishes his career with 68 points in 84 games.

“Would like to thank everyone who was part of a great time here at UND,” Nelson posted on Twitter. “(It) was not an easy decision but will never forget it. #Sioux”

Nelson will finish the season with the Bridgeport Sound Tigers in the AHL on an amateur tryout contract.

UND did receive some good news Tuesday as junior defenseman Andrew MacWilliam and junior forward Carter Rowney have informed the coaching staff that they will return for their senior season.

Early signings in the WCHA

North Dakota (1)
Brock Nelson, soph, f, New York Islanders

Colorado College (1)
Jaden Schwartz, soph, f, St. Louis Blues

Denver (2)
Drew Shore, jr, f, Florida Panthers
Jason Zucker, soph, f, Minnesota Wild

Minnesota-Duluth (1)
J.T. Brown, soph, f, Tampa Bay Lightning

Nebraska-Omaha (1)
Terry Broadhurst, jr, f, Chicago Blackhawks

St. Cloud State (2)
David Eddy, jr, f, Calgary Flames
Mike Lee, jr, g, Phoenix Coyotes

21 Responses

  1. Michael Wurzer

    I would agree that this likely means Kristo is gone as well. Assuming Corban stays, I wonder if Nelson’s decision had anything to do with the slight congestion at the center position. Playing wing this year certainly didn’t hurt him, but I’m curious if it factored into his decision at all in terms of development for his desired position.

  2. Jordo

    He’s not NHL ready yet. Congrats but I think it’s a year or two before he makes any impact for the Piles. For the record, I would definitely sign too if given an opportunity.

  3. Tom

    Another reason why the islanders are the worst organization in the nhl. Let the kid develop another year. He made unbelievable strides from his freshman year to his sophomore year. Another year could have been huge for him. Anyways, good luck to brock, hope it works out for him.

  4. Viking1

    Mr Nelson certainly has the skills, but I doubt if he has the necessary physical maturity at this time. Another year of seasoning w the Sioux would have been advisable. Good luck in the big leagues anyway….

  5. Siouxfan7inDenver

    Bummer—for us fans, but congrats to the baby-faced kid from Warroad who has all the skills to be a very good pro, but do agree that it will be a year or two before he is physicall ready. As a “greedy” fan, I thought if Nelson stuck around there could be an outside chance that Kristo & Knight would also stay (can u imagine this team with the top six forwards returning AND getting Grimaldi, Rodwell, O’Donnell, and St. Claire back in the line up??) but I think this signing does mean we lose all 3. On the bright side, AWESOME news that Rowney & Mac are coming back!!
    Does anyone know if Kristo has the “gregoire” rule in his back pocket and maybe thats why he hasnt signed yet?

  6. crb1

    I was thinking Kristo would probably go but didn’t think Brock would leave. Now that Brock has left I think it is very likely Kristo is now gone. Now talk of Knight leaving is really to much to bear. I hope no more people leave but its beginning to look like that is just wishful thinking. Best of luck to the guys who do leave and it just makes room for someone else to step up.

  7. Josh

    A bit disappointed to see Nelson sign as I think he could have benefitted from another year of development at UND. His offensive skills are great, but he’s not quite physically mature. Last season he was easily pushed off the puck and was injured twice during the NCAA tournament due to lack of strength on his skates. He spent last summer working with Mark Poolman to put on some muscle and you could see a difference this season. Another year at REA’s world-class training facility couldn’t have hurt.

  8. onesioux

    Good luck to him, but I wish he would have stayed another year. I agree he has NHL skill now, just don’t think he has the NHL body yet. He needs another year or two in the weight room to get stronger.

  9. SM

    Best wishes to Mr. Brock Nelson. He had an impressive season. I’m not gonna lie, losing him hurts the team in more ways than one. Mr. Danny Kristo likely will follow suit (this being a part of the result of Mr. Nelson turning pro). Mr. Nelson has improved well and is probably soon to crack the lineup and be a mainstay on the NHL Islanders’ team. However, Mr. Kristo as good of a scorer he is, he could develop his leadership, hockey skills, and overall strength playing for the Fighting Sioux next year, rather than inking a deal that will most likely lead him to several years in the AHL. My assessment of Mr. Corbin Knight reflects the same as I stated for Mr. Kristo. After all is said and done, do the players faced with the decision of turning pro want to play in the AHL or the NHL? If these players are more than two years away in their development from being NHL every night lineup ready, do they really want to leave one of the best developmental NCAA hockey programs in the country to play in the AHL? Playing in the AHL will be there at their conclusion of their hockey development at the collegiate level, but once they leave, I really question whether they receive the tailored developmental training from the coaching staff to improve and move on to the NHL that they receive collegiate level. Sometimes playing in the AHL is a long way from playing in the NHL. I am sure there are many former Sioux players who would echo what I have said. Something for these gentlemen and others to think about…

  10. Trickey7

    Huge strides from last year, hopefully that will continue and he turns into a great pro. He will be missed. Thanks for playing for us Sioux fans Brock!

  11. Siouxya

    Congrats to brock. Any of us that played hockey know what the dream is. To play in nhl. If brock thinks he is ready he is ready! He stepped up big this past season and we were all mad when hextall and gregiore left early but nelson got his chance and delivered. Now it someone elses turn.

    Brad do you happen to know the last time we didnt lose a player early?

    Goos luck brock and keep having fun. You will be missed

  12. JMSioux

    I have no doubt, as the UND is apt to do, he will be replaced. But all of this news is secondary given the ND SC decision, or lack thereof, today and the looming June 12 vote. Anyone who wants to see the UND hockey program stay at the heights it is today in its rich tradition should gather at the polls on that decisive day and vote NO! The repeal of the repeal of the Law will certainly affect whether the UND can replace guys like the great Brock Nelson and others before him.

  13. Sioux-per-man

    As much as I would have liked if he stayed one more year, he had a great year and he will certainly help his AHL team in the playoffs this year. From Brocks point of view it starts his Entry level deal one year earlier, and that much closer to signing for the big bucks in the NHL. Can’t deny the kid his dream. His game is ready, and his body will catch up sooner or later. The Islanders just became a little bit deeper.

    Kristo will go once they hire a GM. The Habs are in dire need of scoring as they finished in the bottom of the East, and he is a top 5 prospect for them. Now I don’t think Knight will sign with Florida, they are very deep in prospect talent and he would have a hard time earing NHL dollars right away. Another year with the Sioux is win/win for both parties involved.

    Brad – who’s coming in that is going to replace them?

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