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Islanders Trade Up, Take Brock Nelson 30th Overall

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The Islanders traded both second round picks (35th and 58th) to Chicago for the 30th overall. That trade means for the first time since the 99 and 00 drafts that the Islanders picked multiple first rounders in back to back years. With that pick the Islanders selected Brock Nelson. The 6'3 205 lbs Center was a dominant force in Minnesota High School hockey for the last two years. He had 149 Points in his last two seasons and as a senior was one of the finalists for the Mr. Hockey Award. Brock is currently committed to the University of North Dakota, which is surprising as most colleges prefer players to spend a year in the USHL before starting their college career.

The hockey bloodline is strong with Brock. Dave Christian, his uncle, was a member of the 1980 U.S. Olympic gold medal-winning team and enjoyed an NHL career that spanned over 1000 games and totaled 773 points. His grandfather, Billy Christian, and great uncle, Roger Christian, played on Team USA’s 1960 gold-medal winning men's hockey team. As he said himself about his rich hockey bloodline. There's not too many families in the USA who can claim having gold medals from two different Team USAs. Thanks to NHL.com's prospect page for Brock's family info. Some scouting quotes after the jump.

"You can't deny his good skills and size"

From the THN Draft Preview

Nelson is charging up the draft rankings. Scouts love the speed/size/hands combination that he possesses. Brock should be a mid to late first round selection.

From Hockeyprospects.com

One of the reasons he was ranked low was because his High School didn't face top competition every night. But when you have someone of his size and skill it's worth the risk. Reports also speak highly of his character and work ethic, two things the Islanders are looking for. We probably won't see him on the Island for at least another two years, but somewhere down the road it seems like he is going to be able to make a big splash.