The New York Islanders selected right wing, Oliver Wahlstrom, eleventh overall in the 2018 NHL Entry Draft. Following his selection, he committed to play NCAA hockey at Boston College. In that year, he split time with his NCAA team and the Islanders minor league affiliate, the Bridgeport Sound Tigers. After gaining an additional year of seasoning below the NHL level, the Islanders were confident in calling Wahlstrom up to the New York Islanders. He played nine games before returning to Bridgeport for more development. It was an easy decision to send Wahlstrom down since he failed to earn even one point. This was a concerning stint for the youngster because the Islanders were at their peak of regular season play when he was with the team. The Islanders went 8-0-1 despite his failure to produce. So with almost another full season of development at the AHL level,
Is Wahlstrom ready to receive another shot?
Wahlstrom was selected to represent the Islanders on the USA roster for the ongoing IIHF tournament. So far, he has compiled five points, four of which are assists, in five games. If he can maintain the point per game pace he has right now, the Islanders are likely to give him a shot to earn a spot on the opening day roster. Following the conclusion of the IIHF, Wahlstrom must quarantine before joining the Islanders at their training camp. If he continues to show his talent in the IIHF and impresses the coaching staff, Wahlstrom may be on a starting line by January 13th.
What Happens If He Doesn’t Make The Isles Roster?
If Wahlstrom is not selected to be a member of the Islanders’ twelve forwards to face off against the Rangers on January thirteenth, a multitude of things can happen regarding Wahlstrom. The Islanders can have a certain number of players who are with the team, on the roster, but do not receive playing time in a game. That is a healthy scratch. Healthy scratches can be mixed in a platoon style. For example, Trotz may alternate the games played by Kieffer Bellows and Oliver Wahlstrom potentially. The NHL recently added a taxi squad. These are players who normally are in the minors but are with the team. So in a game following an injury, they can immediately play without a quarantine since they travel with the team. If the coaching staff believes he isn’t even ready to be around an NHL team, he will be sent to Bridgeport.
With the hockey season nearing, it is certainly exciting to see who plays alongside Jean-Gabriel Pageau on the third line. Some winger options include Wahlstrom, Bellows, Andrew Ladd, and Michael Dal Colle. Two of these four are likely to receive a starting job. So where does that leave Wahlstrom? Please leave your thoughts in the comments section below.