The Detroit Red Wings and former New York Islanders center, Frans Nielsen agreed to a six-year contract worth 31.5 million-dollars on Friday.
Nielsen spent the past 10 seasons with the Islanders, serving as their longest tenured player on the team. New York drafted him with the 87th pick in the third round of the 2002 National Hockey League Entry Draft.
During breakup day, following the Islanders second round loss against the Tampa Bay Lightning, he told the media that he could not envision himself in another uniform.
On Rogers Sportsnet, Nielsen said, “They [the Islanders] gave me a really fair offer, and to be honest it was one of the toughest decisions I have ever had to make. I think in the end, I have been with the Islanders for so long, I wanted to try something new, see some new people, new coaches, and you want to get better, even when you are older. This was a good opportunity for me to see something else.”
At 32 years of age, Nielsen has been one of the better two-way forwards in the game. His durability and offensive production, 20 goals and 32 assists, this past season, helped make him an excellent penalty killer and is defensively responsible, with excellent hockey sense.
A bonus in his game, is his shootout ability. With 42 shootout goals, he has been able to convert on 51.2 percent of his chances in his career. He is also tied for the all-time lead in game-deciding goals with 17.
Over the course of his career, he has scored 119 goals and 230 assists. If not for his unselfishness, he might have had more scoring chances, he tends to make the pass more often, instead of keeping the defenses honest by shooting more.
He is not necessarily a first line center, but he does have enough offense in him to play in the middle of the second line, as well as quarterback the power play on the point. As a third line center, he could be one of the best at the position.