2010 NHL Draft: Brock Nelson best among New York Islanders 2010 draftees

By Christian Litscher
Photo: Brock Nelson had his first 20-goal season for the Islanders this year, finishing with 42 points in 82 games. (Courtesy of Jeanine Leech/Icon Sportswire)

Photo: Brock Nelson had his first 20-goal season for the Islanders this year, finishing with 42 points in 82 games. (Courtesy of Jeanine Leech/Icon Sportswire)



In 2010—a year after drafting their franchise player in John Tavares—the Islanders again found themselves with the opportunity to add a core player as they headed into the Staples Center with the 5th overall pick.

They made noise at the draft floor, trading two second-round picks to the Chicago Blackhawks to move up to 30th spot. The Islanders ended up selecting at picks 5, 30, 65, 82, 125, and 185. They added four forwards, one defenseman, and one goalie to their system.

Nino Niederreiter, LW, Portland Winterhawks (WHL) – 1st round, 5th overall
Status: NHL Player
NHL Games Played: 225

Niederreiter was selected as a big body power forward to compliment the young, skilled centers the Islanders had in John Tavares and Josh Bailey. He scored 60 points in his draft year playing on a line with Columbus star Ryan Johansen, who was taken one pick ahead of him. Niederreiter saw his draft stock increase dramatically when he tore up the World Juniors for Switzerland, scoring 10 points in 7 games and getting named to the all-tournament team.

Niederreiter played one season for the Islanders where he scored one goal in 55 games. He was never given a fair chance, as he mostly played on the 4th line. The next year he played for Bridgeport in the AHL, where he was a leader for the team offensively along with fellow 2010 first rounder Brock Nelson.

In the days prior to the 2013 NHL draft, Niederreiter was traded to the Minnesota Wild in exchange for Cal Clutterbuck and a 3rd round pick that was eventually used to select Eamon McAdam. Clutterbuck has become a mainstay on the Islanders’ 4th line where he is routinely amongst the league leaders in hits.

Niederreiter has established himself as a 20 goal scorer at the NHL level, with the potential to score even more. He had the overtime game-winner in Game 7 for the Minnesota Wild against the Colorado Avalanche in the opening round of the 2014 playoffs, and continues to get better every year.

Brock Nelson, C, Warroad High School (Minn.) – 1st round, 30th overall
Status: NHL Player
NHL Games Played: 154

The Islanders traded up to select Nelson with the last pick in what was a deep first round. Nelson has developed spectacularly for the Islanders since getting drafted out of high school hockey in Minnesota. The Minnesota native spent two seasons playing for North Dakota after being drafted, and led the team in scoring during his sophomore year. The next season, Nelson made an impressive professional debut, leading the Sound Tigers in scoring with 52 points.

Nelson made his NHL debut in the 2013 postseason against the Pittsburgh Penguins in Game 6 of Round 1. The next season he made the Islanders out of camp, and finished with 26 points—a solid rookie season in the midst of a disappointing year for the team. This season, Nelson improved even more, finishing with 42 points while centering Anders Lee and Ryan Strome. Nelson has shown the ability to control the game at both sides of the rink with his size and skill.

Nelson could be a long term solution as the number two center behind John Tavares, depending on whether the organization sees Ryan Strome as a winger or center in the long term. Nelson has played left wing on John Tavares’ line, but Coach Jack Capuano has made it clear he prefers Nelson playing center.

Kirill Kabanov, LW, Moncton Wildcats (QMJHL) – 3rd round, 65th overall
Status: Bust
NHL Games Played: 0

The once highly-touted Kabanov dropped from a potential first-rounder all the way to the 3rd round in the 2010 draft. He was a high risk/reward pick that the Islanders felt comfortable using a mid-round pick on. He was viewed as someone that could play on an NHL scoring line if he could mature his game, but Kabanov never developed that way.

Kabanov played for the Moncton Wildcats in his draft year, scoring 23 points in 22 games. After two more years in the QMJHL, Kabanov played two seasons in the AHL for the Bridgeport Sound Tigers where he never found his game. The skilled Russian finished his AHL career with 12 points in 48 games over two seasons.

Kabanov is currently playing for the first-place Skelleftea AIK in the SHL, where he just had his best offensive season to date, posting 29 points in 43 games in the low scoring league.

Watch this 2010 NHL Draft Look Back video featuring New York Islanders draftees Nino Niederreiter, Brock Nelson, and Kirill Kabanov.

Jason Clark, C, Shattuck St. Marys (Minn.) – 3rd round, 82nd overall
Status: Prospect
NHL Games Played: 0

Jason Clark was drafted out of the prestigious Shattuck St. Marys prep school as an intriguing physical specimen with the potential to grow his game. Clark was viewed in a similar light as other Islanders draft picks Anders Lee and Brock Nelson, who could have third-line potential with grit and speed.

After being drafted, Clark would go on to play two seasons at the University of Wisconsin where he appeared in 35 career games for the Badgers. He finished his collegiate career with only two assists, causing concerns over his offensive game. In 2012, Clark turned pro. He split time between the AHL and the ECHL over the course of the next two seasons. Again, Clark struggled to score, only netting two goals since as a pro. Clark missed the entire 2014-2015 season due to injuries.

Tony DeHart, D, Oshawa Generals (OHL) – 5th round, 125th overall
Status: Bust
NHL Games Played: 0

DeHart was drafted as an overager out of the OHL after putting up a 50-point season from the backend. He played the 2009-10 season on the same pairing as Calvin de Haan, who the Islanders had spent a first-round pick on just one draft earlier. The Missouri native had good size and was a late bloomer who was thought to be capable of developing into a solid two-way defenseman.

After getting drafted, DeHart played one more season for the Generals, where he took a step back offensively from the previous season and finished with 30 points. The following season, the fifth-rounder turned pro. He spent three seasons in the ECHL, having some success with a 30-point season for the Stockton Thunder during the 2012-13 season. DeHart played in the Italian league this season.

Cody Rosen, G, Clarkson University (ECAC) – 7th round, 185th overall
Status: Bust
NHL Games Played: 0

Even though he was drafted in the seventh round, Rosen’s selection came as a surprise to many. He was the 3rd string goaltender for the Golden Knights and only appeared in one period all season—allowing three goals in just 20 minutes of play.

Like DeHart, Rosen was drafted as an overager. He spent four years at Clarkson as the backup and never appeared in more than seven games in any season. After his collegiate career, Rosen played one season for the Knoxville Ice Bears of the SPHL. He appeared in 15 games and finished with a 3.54 goals-against average and a .886 save percentage. Rosen’s hockey career now appears to be finished.

Notable Playoff Performances

Josh Ho-Sang led the Niagara IceDogs in scoring with a goal and 15 assists in 11 games. The team lost in the second round to the favoured Oshawa Generals.

Kyle Burroughs had three assists in 10 playoff games for the Medicine Hat Tigers. The team beat the Red Deer Rebels in five games before losing to in five games to the Calgary Hitman.

Kirill Petrov had two goals and an assist in 17 games for AK Bars Kazan this postseason. They made it all the way to the KHL finals, ultimately losing to SKA St. Petersburg.

Ilya Sorokin played seven postseason games in the MHL for CSKA Krasnaya Armiya. Sorokin finished with a .928 save percentage and a 2.15 goals against average in their quarterfinal loss.

Prospect of the Month: Michael Dal Colle

Michael Dal Colle - New York Islanders Prospect of the MonthThe only Islanders prospect still playing, Michael Dal Colle, has led the Oshawa Generals to the OHL Championship and a berth in the Memorial Cup. Dal Colle had a goal and five assists in the finals against the Erie Otters. He and linemate Cole Cassels went head to head with and outclassed the Connor McDavid line, keeping the young phenom off the scoresheet twice. Last year’s fifth overall pick now has 51 points in 33 playoff games dating back to last season. The Islanders brass has to be pleased with the development of Dal Colle this year and how he has been able to lead his team throughout the postseason.