Mid-Season Winner: Wahlstrom (89.2%)
End of Year Winner: Wahlstrom (66.9%)
OK, this wasn’t too hard. There were only two choices to pick from. Oliver Wahlstrom and Ilya Sorokin were the only two rookies* to play for the Islanders this year. But I figured the vote would have been closer than this with the way Sorokin ended the regular season.
*Bellows still counted but he barely played so I didn’t consider him when drawing up the ballot.
I was sure Wahlstrom would take the honors again at the end of the season vote, but I figured the vote would be closer to 50% than it actually ended up being. Sure, a 13% drop is pretty large, but Wahlstrom basically won the mid-season vote in a landslide.
And look Sorokin was good.
In Sorokin’s final 13 games he averaged a 0.924SV% and a tidy 2.00 GAA. In his first year of NHL action, Sorokin was as good as advertised. Yes, it didn’t start well be he clearly grew into the role and will easily be the goalie of the future we were promised.
But the Islanders have been missing a pure sniper like Whalstrom for a long time. He could be the missing piece for the Isles. If he can become a consistent 30-goal threat the Islanders can be one of the scarier teams in the NHL. And I think that’s why Wahlstrom won the vote so heavily.