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What Was Expected: Frans Nielson is an awesome hockey player, brilliant in many of the things that are often overlooked, but make the difference between winning and losing—things like playing the other team's best players to a draw, penalty-killing brilliance and solid offense. He was expected to do all the extras and chip in 40 points in a full season.
What's Being Delivered: If you take the league's best defensive center (Nielson is in the conversation) and he doubles his point total (at his current rate Nielson will pass 80 points before year's end), what do you get?
A Hart Trophy candidate. Nielson's brilliant play in all zones and in all disciplines make him the definition of a complete player.
How He's Doing it: There's a little bit of luck involved, Nielson's shooting percentage is unsustainable and that'll correct as the season wears along, but he's also delivering some impressive power play numbers. Nielson's paired most often with Josh Bailey up front, and that duo is giving the Islanders some impressive scoring to go along with the Tavares line.