The New York Islanders, contrary to popular belief used their eleventh overall draft pick to select a player. And they picked Oliver Wahlstrom.
We were all sure that they would use the pick to trade for a defenseman or a goalie. The Islanders did the opposite. They drafted Oliver Wahlstrom from the US National Development Program.
We were all sure that the Islanders would use their picks to trade for assets, but when a player who is projected to go in the top seven you have an obligation to make the pick.
And the Islanders did just that. It’s why we got Lou Lamoriello in the first place. To bring on his pragmatic approach to building an organization. The New York Islanders certainly got offers for pick eleven and 12, but the return clearly wasn’t enough.
What has He Done
In 62 games played for the USNDP, Wahlstrom put up 48 goals and 44 assists for a total of 92 points. Ninety-two points.
Add another 22 goals in 26 games for the USNDP junior program and yet another seven goals in seven games with the US under-18 program. That’s 77 goals in 95 games.
Wahlstrom has an absolutely devastating release. Think of Patrik Laine type of player. Don’t leave Wahlstrom alone at the top of the circle, cause it’s 100 percent going into the back of the net.
Need a better, more relatable example? Imagine a player with Brock Nelson’s release but with an insane work ethic, a desire to play tough and in the dirty areas and just doing everything necessary to win.
I know the Islanders need help today in net and on the blueline. But when a player
Add him to Kieffer Bellows and the Islanders have two players that are dangerous offensive threats that could make the team in the next few years.
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This wasn’t what we thought the New York Islanders would do with their first-round pick, but considering what they got I’m pleased.