TFP's Pagnotta: NY Islanders Oliver Wahlstrom is out for the season

New York Islanders v New Jersey Devils
New York Islanders v New Jersey Devils / Bruce Bennett/GettyImages

The most dreaded injury designation for the New York Islanders under Lou Lamoriello is "out-indefinitely." That has been the status of forward Oliver Wahlstrom since he left the Dec. 27 game versus the Pittsburgh Penguins at UBS Arena n the first period. While it has been suspected for some time that Wahlstrom's injury was serious, Dave Pagnotta of The Fourth Period is now reporting that the Isles sniper is out for the season.

TFP's Pagnotta: NY Islanders Oliver Wahlstrom is out for the season

The injury occurred on Wahlstrom's first shift of the game when he put a big hit on Pens defenseman Chad Ruhwedel in the corner of the offensive zone. After the hit and what the TV cameras didn't capture was fellow defenseman Pierre-Oliver Joseph coming in and hitting Wahlstrom while he was down, sending him into the boards. The 22-year-old stayed down for a few seconds before getting to the bench and eventually exiting the game down the tunnel.

It was initially thought that Wahlstrom was in concussion protocol, but the out-indefinitely designation along with the fact that he hasn't been skating in capacity makes it more likely that the injury is related to his knee and/or hip. Given how the team operates, the exact injury and the extent of it might not be done until the end of the season.

There were hopes at the start of the season that Wahlstrom would get a fresh start under Lane Lambert after being the recipient of "tough love" for Barry Trotz most of the 2021-22 season. As has been the case throughout his brief NHL career, Wahlstrom showed flashes of breaking out, but hasn't yet been able to put it all together. He scored seven goals and added nine assissts in 35 games. The goal production was at a similar pace of his 13 goals in 73 games performance last year.

His absence has also left a void on Mathew Barzal's top line. They weren't producing at a top-line pace, but there was at least consistency in the line combinations. The power-play has also suffered, and while all the struggles can't be attributed to Wahlstrom's absence, the threat of his shot creates space and gives opposing PK units something to think about that just isn't replicated anywhere else on the roster.