NY Islanders News

Would Islanders Forward Oliver Wahlstrom Benefit With More Ice Time?

By Matt O'Leary
Pittsburgh Penguins v New York Islanders
Pittsburgh Penguins v New York Islanders / Bruce Bennett/GettyImages
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At just 21 years old, Oliver Wahlstrom is making a name for himself with the New York Islanders. Currently, he's second on the team in points with 15 (8 goals, 7 assists) in 26 games. Paced out over a full 82 game season, that's a 47 point and 25 goal pace.

There were flashes of brilliance last year in a small sample as well. In 44 games, Wahlstrom as a 20 year old had 21 points and 12 goals. When you consider he was getting just 12:23 of ice time per night that's pretty impressive.

This year, the ice time has gone up, but marginally. He is averaging 13:14 of ice time per game which is third-line minutes on most teams. Imagine getting a 25 goal and 47 point season from a 21-year-old third-liner? When you put it in that context it's kind of wild.

Now, to go back to that average ice time thing from a second ago, over his last eight games Wahlstrom has 10 points (3 goals, 7 assists). His average amount of ice time is one second higher than it is for the season (because of course it is) but before going on COVID protocol Wahlstrom had three straight games with over 15 minutes of ice time.

Would the more time benefit Wahlstrom? I'd argue yes, it's time.

When the Islanders finally return, which is still five days away, the Isles need to play Oliver Wahlstrom with Mathew Barzal. A line of Lee - Barzal - Wahlstrom would bring the Isles top line to the next level as the rotation of Kyle Palmieri and Josh Bailey on the right side of those two just haven't cut it.

I mean just think about it logically, Bailey and Palmieri combined have two goals on the year. Two! Oliver Wahlstrom has four times that much on his own and adding the closest thing the Isles have to a sniper with Lee in front of the net and Mathew Barzal doing his thing would be perfect for this team.

Back in December, Trotz said he "hopes" Wahlstrom becomes a top line player for this team. Hope no more, Barry the time is now. If that's the case, expect Wahlstrom's production to only grow. He's ready.

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