New York Islanders first-round and eleventh overall pick in the 2018 NHL Entry Draft, Oliver Wahlstrom could be ready for the NHL as early as next season.
We all thought that the New York Islanders were going to trade away one of their first-round picks in 2018. Needing a top-four defender and a goalie it seemed clear they’d try to upgrade at the NHL Entry Draft using one of their high-value assets.
Lou Lamoriello and the Islanders probably thought the same thing. Until it became clear that the second best goal scorer in the draft after Filip Zadina was going to be available with the eleventh overall pick. The draft strategy changed right there and then for the Isles.
They took Oliver Wahlstrom at eleventh overall in the draft. With 77 goals across 95 games in 2017-18 Wahlstrom has one heck of an impressive stat sheet when it comes to putting the puck in the net. And according to Scott Wheeler of the Athletic, Wahlstrom has the potential to be NHL ready as soon as next season.
Ready for the Chel
On Friday, Scott Wheeler published his top 50 prospects across the NHL for The Athletic (subscription required). In the list, he detailed the top 50 players under 23 years of age that have yet to make the NHL. Wahlstrom ranked 12th.
(Other New York Islanders prospects to make the list were Noah Dobson at 46 and Ilya Sorokin at 48.)
Wheeler gushed about Wahlstrom’s incredible shot, his ability to find space, and just his game in general. What’s important to note is that Wheeler believes that Wahlstrom could be a one-and-done college player and be in the NHL as early as next season.
We’re all high on Oliver Wahlstrom and the potential he has in the NHL. Our expectations were only heightened during the Islanders mini-camp where he scored this highlight reel goal. And those expectations have been matched by Scott Wheeler.
By 2019 the Islanders could be ready to welcome Kieffer Bellows, Josh Ho-Sang, Devon Toews, Linus Soderstrom and Oliver Wahlstrom. In Bellows and Wahlstrom the Islanders will be adding incredible scoring potential on the left and right side of the ice.
Along with Mathew Barzal, Anthony Beauvillier, and Ryan Pulock, the Islanders will look much younger 365 days from now. It’s going to be the greatest youth infusion this franchise has seen in a long time.
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In 2019-20 the New York Islanders will be an incredibly young, fast, and dynamic team. Quite a different look and feel from the team they’ll field in 2018-19.