The focus for the Islanders right now is their quest to win the Metropolitan Division and return to the playoffs for the first time since 2015-16.
But it's hard not to wonder what the team might look like next season as general manager Lou Lamoriello has a number of crucial decisions ahead of him. Among them is how he'll handle linemates Jordan Eberle, Anders Lee and Brock Nelson all becoming unrestricted free agents this summer.
All three are eligible for extensions before the season ends, but it appears Lamoriello wants to maintain flexibility. According to the New York Post, the Isles and Nelson have not engaged in "substantial negotiations" regarding a new contract.
"There hasn't really been any talks or any indication one way or the other," Nelson told the paper. "That's a good thing for all parties, take it day-by-day. Everybody wants to win and we're in a good spot to do that right now."
Nelson's 20 goals are second-most on the Islanders, and he's third on the team with 43 points. He should soon surpass his previous career-high in points, which was 45 in 2016-17. With 23 assists, he now has three 20-20 seasons to his name.
The 27-year-old center is in his sixth year with the club after being selected No. 30 overall in the 2010 NHL Draft, and he's on a one-year, $4.25 million contract after he was a restricted free agent last offseason -- when the Isles lost John Tavares to Toronto in free agency.
"Didn't really know what to expect in the summer," Nelson said. "Obviously getting a one-year (deal,) coming back with a new mindset, kind of a new focus and a new opportunity. It's been a bit of a different situation, more opportunity to go out there and take a bigger role and see where it went. So far, things have been great. Everything from Lou to Barry (Trotz) and the team, everything has been great."
Nelson has 12 points (four goals, eight assists) in his last 14 games. Lee, the Islanders' new captain who had 40 goals last year, has 22 goals and 20 assists this year, while Eberle has 13 goals and 17 assists.