If you believe the NHL's hype machine, Bobby Orr was the only hockey player who made history before 1984 and US Hockey has its roots in The (Gretzky) Trade.
The Islander Dynasty? Trivia! The Miracle on Ice of 1980 and the Forgotten Miracle of 1960? Who cares? Oh, you had a little anniversary? That's nice. Now go away! You bother me.
Never mind all the Islander Hall of Famers or the fact that one US Hockey star after another has stated that the Miracle on Ice inspired them to become hockey players. Or that even many Canadian hockey prospects cite Miracle as their favorite movie. The NHL has a story line and they're sticking to it!
Enter Brock Nelson. Like the popular folk hero Kilroy, his drafting by the Islanders inconveniently reminds the NHL establishment of the Islander dynasty as well as the 1960 and '80 legends.
Brock's uncle Dave Christian starred on the 1980 Miracle team and went on to play in 1,000 NHL games and score nearly 800 points. Grandfather Billy Christian and great uncle Roger Christian played on the 1960 gold medal team. The latter two founded Christian Brothers Hockey Sticks Company. Virtual US Hockey royalty!
Bloodlines are fine, you say, but what has he done? He only scored 149 points in 56 games for Warroad High School in Minnesota. Oh, and he was also a finalist in the prestigious state Mr. Hockey award and is moving on to the well-known University of North Dakota program.
Listen to this Leafs blogger drool over him prior to the draft:
He’s an adept goal scorer and a truly gifted skater with legitimate end-to-end speed on the rush. Defensively, he’s not afraid to get his nose dirty along the boards and is among the best faceoff men in this entire draft class. Brock’s skill set is still raw, but the combination of size, high end skill and character is extremely rare and he could very well be a special NHL talent.
And if a Leafs blogger said it, you know it must be true!
Seriously though, both Brock and fellow Minnesotan, Islander power forward prospect Anders Lee, are 6'3" and over 200 pounds. Both should fill out to 220 pounds-plus. Put them on a line with bruising Bobby Nystrom-like forward Matt Martin and Sather may need one or two more Dylan McIlraths to keep them from crashing Henrik the Ice Girl bully's crease!
The Islanders and the heir of US Hockey's miracle teams will soon be poised to dominate the NHL again. And as Kyle Okposo accepts the Stanley Cup from Commissioner Bettman, he should smirk and impishly ask, "Wayne who?"