In Saturday’s 6-1 win over the Philadelphia Flyers, New York Islanders rookie Oliver Wahlstrom recorded two assists. He got a primary helper on Jean-Gabriel Pageau‘s opening PPG and then he picked up a secondary assist on Casey Cizikas‘s second goal of the first period.
With those two helpers, Oliver Wahlstrom now sits at 14 points (7 goals and 7 assists) on the year.
He’s a long-shot to win or even factor in the discussion for the league’s top rookie right now, but at the pace that he’s scoring, it wouldn’t surprise me to see him finish in the top three for the Calder Trophy.
New York Islanders Oliver Wahlstrom could be a finalist for NHL’s top rookie
Let me make one thing very clear, the Calder Trophy is Kirill Kaprizov’s to lose. The Minnesota Wild rookie has been exceptional in his first season. There’s just no catching him at the moment. It would be a shock if he didn’t win.
But Oliver Wahlstrom could absolutely factor in the top three for the award this season.
Here are just a few basics on his season and where he ranks for rookies:
- Points: 14 (7th)
- Goals: 7 (t-3rd)
- Pts/G: 0.56 (4th)*
*For rookies with at least ten games played.
At the moment, Wahlstrom isn’t getting much respect for the award. According to VegasInsider.com, the Islanders rookie is listed at +2000 to win, which ranks him 13th. Again, unless something miraculous happens he’s not going to beat Kiril Kaprizov for the award, but looking at his production he should certainly be higher in voting.
Wahlstrom is currently producing more than Alexis Lafrèniere (8 points), Pius Suter (13 points), and Philipp Kurashev (12 points) all of which are listed above him to win the award and thus be more of a factor in the discussion for the league’s top rookie.
And Wahlstrom is just heating up. Over his last five games, the Islanders rookie has five points to his name (three goals and two helpers). Here’s how that compares to some of the other top rookie skaters in the league:
- Kirill Kaprizov (Minnesota): 3G, 2A, 5Pts
- Nils Hoglander (Vancouver): 1G, 3A, 4Pts
- Tim Stützle (Ottawa): 0G, 3A, 3Pts
- Jason Robertson (Dallas): 0G, 3A, 3Pts
- Josh Norris (Ottawa): 2G, 0A, 2Pts
- Ty Smith (New Jersey): 0G, 2A, 2Pts
Of course, I haven’t mentioned Kevin Lankinen. The Chicago Blackhawks rookie goalie has been good this year with a 10-7-4 record and 0.914SV% and 2.87GAA. He won’t win it, but he’ll be in the discussion.
So could Oliver Wahlstrom.
With the way things are going right now, Wahlstrom who sees limited ice-time could absolutely factor in the award as that production warrants more ice-time from head coach Barry Trotz.
Again, he won’t win the award unless he starts lighting up the league every night or Kirill Kaprizov misses time through injury. But Oliver Wahlstrom could very well be one of the three finalists for the award at the end of the year.