Prospects Rankings and Movement
Oliver Wahlstrom on top
Kieffer Bellows sat in the top spot of my prospects rankings for a while. That’s largely thanks to a strong AHL season last year and a strong points-per-game rate at the NHL level. But Oliver Wahlstrom has been chipping away at that lead for a while by scoring consistently at the NHL level.
With two helpers in a 6-1 win over the Philadelphia Flyers, Wahlstrom is now at the pinnacle of the Islanders prospects system.
The rookie now has seven goals and 14 points on the year. That production has him sitting sixth in rookie scoring on the year in the NHL and third in terms of points per game behind Kirill Kaprizov (Minnesota Wild), Jason Robertson (Dallas Stars), and Tim Stützle (Ottawa Senators).
At 0.56 points-per-game on the year, Wahlstrom is on pace to score 46 points in his rookie year. Outstanding.
Look, the Calder Trophy is Kaprizov’s to lose this year, but Wahlstrom is factoring in the rookie race (even if as a dark-horse). That alone is a huge step forward for Wahlstrom and the New York Islanders.
The Isles desperately needed goal support and to get production from players on cheap ELC deals. Wahlstrom provides both. Sure, he’s still playing sheltered minutes on the third line, but as we know Barry Trotz is all about building confidence, and by God, that’s what he’s doing with Wahlstrom.
And it’s working.
We all want Wahlstrom to get more ice-time, he seems to deserve it with not only his production but because of his play away from the puck as well. I doubt he gets it this year, which seems to be by design as Trotz builds the 20-year-old up to be the top-line talent he might very well be.