MSG’s Stan Fischler recently reffered to Frans Nielsen as one of the most underrated players in the league. Fischler and other keen observers of the Islanders have long heralded Nielsen for his defensive play, but the Danish center is coming into his own as a scorer. This season Nielsen established new career highs in goals (22) and points (49) and will likely hit the 50-point plateau for the first time.

“I got off to a really good start and I think that helped,” Nielsen said. “I’ve been riding that start all year, but I am always lucky enough to be in a good position. Every game I have good players around me so that helps.”

Nielsen had seven goals and eight assists in October, including three, three-point games. A multi-point effort from Nielsen bodes well for the Islanders, who are 7-0-1 if he gets on the scoresheet twice.

While Nielsen is currently centering the Islanders’ top line in place of the injured John Tavares, the Dane anchored the Islanders second unit until the Olympic break. Nielsen said his new role has its perks such as increased 5-on-5 ice time – Nielsen plays power play and penalty kill – but it’s a challenge to be the guy on a nightly basis.

“It’s not an easy job that Johnny has there,” Nielsen said in an interview with Isles TV’s Greg Picker. “I’ve always felt that I was capable of doing it, but it’s only been a short period of time. To do it for 82 games, that’s what is so impressive in what Johnny does.”

Nielsen’s play has impressed his teammates, who are thrilled to see him step up in every situation this season, especially with a consistently changing roster.