Islanders Oliver Wahlstrom and Kieffer Bellows have a golden opportunity

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)

New York Islanders promising prospects Oliver Wahlstrom and Kieffer Bellows should have a golden opportunity in front of them. Odds are heading into training camp there will be at least one open forward spot on the roster if not two.

The New York Islanders like many other NHL teams are up against the cap. Because of this, it will open up a spot or two on the Isles roster.

The Islanders have high hopes for both Oliver Wahlstrom and Kieffer Bellows since they have been drafted. Both are former first-round picks and both were projected to be top-six wingers.

Bellows is a couple of years older than Wahlstrom. Kieffer was the 19th overall selection in the 2016 Draft when Garth Snow was the GM. Wahlstrom was the first draft pick of the Lou Lamoriello era and the 11th overall in 2018.

Both youngsters had cups of coffee with the blue and orange last season. Bellows played in eight games, while Wahlstrom played in nine. Their time could be now given the timeline of their development and the current opportunity regarding the 2020-21 opening night roster.

Pageau’s Line

It is widely expected that the Isles will resign Matt Martin in the near future to keep their fourth line intact. If not either Michael Dal Cole or Leo Komarov could take that spot.

However, as of now, both spots on J.G. Pageau wing are open. Even if the Isles bring back Derick Brassard on a one-year deal that will still leave an open forward spot on the Islander roster.

That open spot or two could be Wahlstrom’s and or Bellows spot to lose. A solid to really good training camp by either player could mean they are in the opening night lineup.

The Current State of the Cap

By now everyone knows the impact the virus has had on the NHL economically which has affected this year’s salary cap. The Isles are roughly $3.9 million under the cap with Mathew Barzal still to sign.

Odds are Lou will find enough room to sign Barzal and bring back Martin and Andy Greene. Maybe there is enough room to sign a veteran free agent winger like Brassard.

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But because of the current state of things, there will be an opportunity for both Wahlstrom and Bellows. It’s in their hands.

Now is the time for Wahlstrom and Bellows to take a step and breakthrough to the opening night roster.