One of the New York Islanders top prospects Oliver Wahlstrom did not have the kind of year he had expected or hoped for. However, make no mistake last year’s eleventh overall pick future is still very bright.
Last June when the New York Islanders front office walked into the Draft they couldn’t have thought that Oliver Wahlstrom and Noah Dobson for that fact, would be on the board when they picked at eleven and twelve. The Isles were thrilled to the moon.
Wahlstrom has struggled this year. The eighteen-year-old winger played in 36 games for Boston College this season. However, he only mustered eight goals and nineteen points playing for the Eagles. Also, Wahlstrom did not click with head coach Jerry York.
Wahlstrom decided to leave college and sign his entry-level contract with the Islanders. Wahlstrom’s contract begins in the fall at the start of the 2019-20 season. However, Wahlstrom could suit up for the Sound Tigers come the AHL playoffs. That would be some very valuable experience for this talented youngster.
We have to also remember that playing NCAA hockey is not easy and is a tough transition for most young hockey players. Wahlstrom did that as an 18-year old kid.
Wahlstrom is projected to be an impact goal scorer in the NHL. He has the potential to be a big-time offensive player. That’s not all that the kid from Maine brings to the table. Wahlstrom is a big kid at 6’2, 209 lbs.
That combo of skill and size has to have Lou Lamoriello and the Islander organization very excited about Wahlstrom’s future and what it will mean for the Isles.
Wahlstrom has the potential to be a first-line scoring winger. This is something the Islanders do not have at the present time and desperately need.
For Wahlstrom, it’s about building for the future at this present time. He needs to put this frustrating season behind him but at the same time learn from it. Wahlstrom shouldn’t be asking himself what the BC coach did wrong this year or why his team and his teammates didn’t come together but what he could have done differently.
It’s not a bad thing when a top prospect in any sport faces adversity during his development on his journey to the pros. Reason being is when that talented kid gets to in this case the NHL he will have to deal with adversity. In the long run, Wahlstrom’s struggles this year could serve him well as a valuable learning tool.
It would be terrific if Wahlstrom could get a taste of playing with Bridgeport during their playoff run. That could end his season on a positive note. From there Wahlstrom’s focus should be his off-season program and getting ready for September’s training camp.
While Wahlstrom hasn’t had a good year calling him a bust is ridiculous. In The Hockey News 2019 Future Watch issue, they listed Wahlstrom as the 31st best prospect in the sport.
Wahlstrom has terrific skill and size, you can’t teach that. The teaching will be in the hands of Barry Trotz and Lou. Wahlstrom’s is in good hands.