NY Islanders Mathew Barzal to resume skating, Oliver Wahlstrom done for season

New York Islanders v New Jersey Devils
New York Islanders v New Jersey Devils / Rich Graessle/GettyImages

The NY Islanders have been without franchise forward Mathew Barzal for well over a month of play and have been without Oliver Wahlstrom even longer. Barzal was injured against the Boston Bruins back on Feb. 18th in a 6-2 loss after Craig Smith threw what appeared to be an innocent body check on the Islander forward that has kept him out ever since. Wahlstrom, however, was injured back in 2022 when the Islanders resumed play following the holiday break on Dec. 27th against the Pittsburgh Penguins. At the time, Wahlstrom was labeled as "out indefinitely," yet had not been seen on the ice or around the rink. Islanders general manager Lou Lamoriello disclosed on Saturday morning that Barzal will resume skating either Saturday, April 1st or Sunday, April 2nd, while Wahlstrom is being shut down for the rest of the season, including the playoffs if/when the Islanders clinch their spot.

Prior to his injury, Barzal scored 14 goals and 37 assists for 51 points in 58 games. He was creating excellent chemistry on the right wing playing alongside the newly acquired Bo Horvat. Since Barzal's injury, it should be no surprise that Horvat's production has taken a dip as he's only scored three goals and four assists Barzal's 17-game absence. In his first six games with Barzal in the lineup, Horvat potted three goals and four points.

Wahlstrom was still finding his stride back in December and ended his season with seven goals and nine assists for 16 points in 35 games. Briefly looking ahead to the 2023-24 season, Wahlstrom's deployment will make for an interesting storyline as Barzal has shifted to the right wing. The right-shot forward could shift to the left wing and play on the same line with Horvat and Barzal to make for a dangerous scoring threat, or he could remain on the third line with J.G. Pageau where he has spent much of his short career.

The speculation on Wahlstrom's injury is that he tore his ACL, however, there has been no confirmation.

Sebastian Aho resumed skating with the Islanders on Saturday morning.