Oliver Wahlstrom has been playing nothing short of incredible hockey for the New York Islanders lately. He’s recorded at least one point over his last four games. Over those four games, he has two goals and three assists.
To think he is only a rookie too is mind-boggling. The way he plays on the ice is something that you may expect a veteran to play like. In his first three games, he wasn’t producing much for the team and only picked up two shots. But since then, he is playing like an absolute force.
Last season, Wahlstrom only had nine games played. Over the course of that, he picked up zero points. However, things couldn’t be more different this season. After sitting the first six games of the season, Wahlstrom has picked up more ice-time and has made the most of his minutes.
During Sunday’s Islanders game, Wahlstrom managed to get the first multi-point game of his career. This came off a powerplay goal for himself, and an assist on a Jean-Gabriel Pageau powerplay goal. He also had almost ten minutes of ice-time during this game as well.
How Should The New York Islanders Play Him From Here?
Wahlstrom has been playing terrific lately, that is no secret. However, there is a saying that goes “if it’s not broke, don’t fix it.” While a lot of people are calling for Wahlstrom to get more ice-time, it is best if Wahlstrom continues to play very similar minutes to what he is playing right now.
Approximately ten minutes per game would be fair, no less. If you want to develop him into one of the future stars of the Islanders, you must take care of him now. It’s best not to rush him into the second line. Sometimes if you try to push someone too quickly, this can be a bad thing and hinder their performance.
The best spot for Wahlstrom right now is to be playing with Pageau. They did an amazing job together on the powerplay unit and truly bring out the best in each other. Wahlstrom can learn a lot from Pageau and Pageau can also learn from Wally.
If the Islanders are careful with Wahlstrom and can help him to develop, we could be seeing the beginning of one of the next Islander greats. It’s too early to tell but this is definitely something that is not out of the question.