Frans Nielsen had the most successful year of his New York Islanders career this past season, and I thought was at least deserving of some Selke consideration. For those of you who do not know, the Selke is given to the best defensive forward.
The reason that I thought Nielsen deserved the Selke was because he led all of the NHL with seven short handed goals, which is an absolutely amazing number. Nielsen and Michael Grabner paired up to make the Islanders penalty kill almost as lethal as their power play.
Nielsen’s statistical totals were very impressive, with 13 goals and a very good 31 assists. This is the type of production the Islanders had hoped for out of him, but not what most people were thinking they would actually get.
Maybe the most impressive statistic of all was the fact that Nielsen was plus 13, despite the Islanders having a pretty poor team plus/minus overall.
Unfortunately Nielsen suffered a concussion at the end of the season and missed the final few games. He should be back and healthy and ready to dominate on the penalty kill again next season with the Islanders.