As a 22-year-old, Nelson played 72 games for the Islanders last season and got better as it progressed. After fighting to crack the lineup early in the season, the rookie ended up with 14 goals and 12 assists, and showed the ability to be a responsible player in both ends of the ice.
"It was maybe tough here and there, but I think I had a good support system around me," Nelson said. "Everyone just kept telling me to work hard and just keep doing the right things and you'll get your time and you'll get your opportunity. You've just got to be ready for when that moment came and I think I was able to do that, and I think the coaching staff did a great job of keeping me prepared for when that time came."