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Islanders 5 bold predictions for 2021-22 season

PITTSBURGH, PENNSYLVANIA - MAY 16: Oliver Wahlstrom #26 celebrates with Kyle Palmieri #21 of the New York Islanders after Palmieri's goal in the first period in Game One of the First Round of the 2021 Stanley Cup Playoffs at PPG PAINTS Arena on May 16, 2021 in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. (Photo by Emilee Chinn/Getty Images)
PITTSBURGH, PENNSYLVANIA - MAY 16: Oliver Wahlstrom #26 celebrates with Kyle Palmieri #21 of the New York Islanders after Palmieri's goal in the first period in Game One of the First Round of the 2021 Stanley Cup Playoffs at PPG PAINTS Arena on May 16, 2021 in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. (Photo by Emilee Chinn/Getty Images)
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New York Islanders
Oliver Wahlstrom #26 of the New York Islanders. (Photo by Bruce Bennett/Getty Images)

Getting ready for the New York Islanders 2021-22 season, here are five bold predictions that could happen this year.

The New York Islanders regular season is just over a month away. And with the hype that’s starting to build around the upcoming season I thought I’d pull out an annual tradition today; five bold predictions for the year.

It’s something just about everyone does before the season starts to figure out what are some of the possible best-case scenarios that could happen on an individual level and on a team level.

Let’s begin.

Oliver Wahlstrom hits 30 goals

In his first year of NHL hockey, Oliver Wahlstrom showed a ton of promise. In those 44 regular-season games, Wahlstrom popped in 12 goals and 21 points. Which is well below the 30 I’m boldly predicting he can hit.

But when you pace out those stats over a full 82-game season, Wahlstrom was essentially on pace for 22 goals. So, the question now is, can Oliver Wahlstrom bridge what is an eight-goal gap from his 2020-21 pace and this prediction?

Yeah, why not?

Consider how infrequently he was used last season. In those 44 regular-season games, Wahlstrom averaged less than twelve-and-a-half minutes per game. That ice-time will go up next year. It was already trending upwards by the playoffs where he averaged 14:33 per game.

Then you have to think about the power play. With the addition of Kyle Palmieri and Zach Parise (and with Anders Lee coming back from injury), the Isles will have a few more goal threats for teams to respect on the man advantage. Last year, opponents knew Wahlstrom was the one-and-only trigger man.

Covering him was all they had to do. Now they won’t have that luxury, which will give Wahlstrom a bit more time and space to do what he does best.

Thirty goals is a lot, but I can absolutely see him hit it.

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