Islanders Barry Trotz Has Strong Words for Oliver Wahlstrom’s Previous Coaching

Oliver Wahlstrom #26 of the New York Islanders (Photo by Bruce Bennett/Getty Images)
Oliver Wahlstrom #26 of the New York Islanders (Photo by Bruce Bennett/Getty Images) /

After a nine-game NHL stint with the Islanders, prospect Oliver Wahlstrom is back in the AHL. And Barry Trotz had some tough words for his previous coaches.

In his nine-game cameo at the start of the 2019-20 season, Oliver Wahlstrom got an experience he’ll never forget. Through those nine games, the Islanders were able to put up their second-longest winning streak in franchise history.

With that, the eleventh overall pick in 2018 was able to see what it takes to win. And more importantly, what it’s going to take to get a roster spot on this team.

On Saturday, with Jordan Eberle activated off IR, the winger was sent down to the AHL to suit up for the Bridgeport Sound Tigers. There he’ll take what he learned from his time in the NHL, apply it, gain some confidence and grow as a player. And maybe someone will teach him the game.

Teach Him The Game

The day after Wahlstrom was sent down to the AHL, Islanders head coach Barry Trotz gave some rather pointed words about Wahlstrom’s previous hockey education.

"“He’s a young player who’s got loads of skill and he’s gotten this far on loads of skill. Now he’s got to learn the game,” said Trotz. “At every level he’s been a talent, he’s been the biggest, strongest sort of the most talented guy. Well, no one has really taught him the game for the most part.”"

If you ever coached Oliver Wahlstrom at some point lookout, a bus is about to hit you.

Wahlstrom, as Trotz said, is clearly a talented individual. We saw that talent on full display in the first few games of Wahlstrom’s NHL stint. Like this solo effort against the Winnipeg Jets back in the middle of October.

But from there, Wahlstrom’s ice time diminished as did his offensive chances.

Of his remaining six games following that Winnipeg Jets game, Wahlstrom’s time on ice exceded ten minutes only three times. For the most part, Wahlstrom was on the fourth line with Cole Bardreau and Ross Johnston. Over those final six games, he registered three shots on net. Against the Winnipeg Jets alone, Wahlstrom had three shots.

Clearly, Barry Trotz just didn’t like Wahlstrom’s game. And his recent comments make it clear as to why.

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Now Sound Tigers head coach Brent Thompson will be trusted to teach Wahlstrom “the game”. Whether you agree or not that Thompson is the best candidate to do that is a topic for another day.