THE EMERGENCE OF OLIVER WAHLSTROM

BY, CRISTIAN DRAGUCA

· Cristian Draguca

As we all know the Islanders have been in dire need of a pure goal scorer. Well, it looks like they’ve found that guy. He goes by the name of Oliver Wahlstrom and let me tell you something, this kid can shoot the puck. Wahlstrom rose through the ranks at the United States National Team Development Program while playing alongside other talents such as Jack Hughes and Trevor Zegras to name a few. Wahlstrom was selected 11th overall in the 2018 NHL entry draft. Since then he has been all over Islanders fans radars. Wahlstrom’s game is nice and simple and he uses his attributes to his advantage. The main weapon in Wahlstrom’s arsenal is his wicked shot. Wahlstrom’s shot has been compared to the likes of Alex Ovechkin and Mike Bossy as they were known for their quick release and punishing finish. Wahlstrom uses his size to his advantage and his offensive awareness as well as his individual skill set to set him apart from his colleagues.

Wahlstrom began his professional career down in Bridgeport with the Islanders AHL affiliate the Bridgeport Sound Tigers. Wahlstrom played a total of 50 games for the Sound Tigers putting up 12 goals and 13 assists for a total of 25 points. Wahlstrom’s play down in the minors did not go unnoticed as Coach Trotz took a chance on him and called him up. Wahlstrom’s first nine games did not go to plan as he was kept scoreless without any points. However, Wahlstrom looked promising and the future looked bright. Over the summer Wahlstrom trained in Sweden and eventually went on loan to Swedish club AIK where he played a total of 10 games putting up impressive numbers. Wahlstrom’s time on loan at AIK saw him put up 4 goals and 4 assists as he prepared to return to the Island for training camp. Wahlstrom impressed Coach Trotz and he earned himself a spot on the roster. During the start of the new season Wahlstrom had to work to be in the starting lineup as he started the season on the taxi squad. However, with Trotz needing some offensive spark he called on Wahlstrom and he delivered. Wahlstrom has been exceptional this season and has shown us that he is the player that everyone expected him to be. Wahlstrom impressed early by netting his first National Hockey League goal against the Capitals in his season debut and he hasn’t looked back. He now has 4 goals and 5 assists in 19 games and has been improving night in and night out. Wahlstrom has certainly earned his spot on the roster and is going to be an exciting player to watch for years to come! Let’s Go Islanders!

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