The New York Islanders defeated the defending Stanley Cup champion St. Louis Blues on Monday afternoon in dramatic trend, scoring two targets late within the third interval earlier than Mathew Barzal arrange Devon Toews for the game-winning purpose in time beyond regulation. By means of the primary 54 and a half minutes, the Islanders appeared to be on cruise management, albeit they had been at 40mph with their flashers on and holding onto the steering wheel for expensive life. The one shiny spot via almost 55 minutes of (mediocre) play was rookie Oliver Wahlstrom who made his NHL debut.
In 15:13 of ice time, Wahlstrom had two pictures, one hit, and noticed 1:07 on the ability play. His first shift was quick, however the 6-foot-2, 211-pound rookie made his presence identified, throwing his physique round, although he obtained extra glass than he would have preferred on his first hit try. Following the sport, Wahlstrom stated to NHL.com’s Brian Compton, “Proper earlier than my first shift, Barzy instructed me, ‘there’s just a little extra [room] than you assume.’ That first likelihood I had, he was proper.”
He took that recommendation to coronary heart all through the remainder of the sport, exhibiting his endurance with the puck and never being afraid to go to the soiled areas to retrieve it. Wahlstrom additionally made a few good strikes in direction of the online with the puck, producing some good probabilities throughout an in any other case flat offensive sport from the Islanders.
Oliver Wahlstrom, New York Islanders, 2018 NHL Draft, Dallas, TX, June 22, 2018 (Amy Irvin / The Hockey Writers)
With Josh Ho-Sang not reporting to the American Hockey League’s Bridgeport Sound Tigers, Wahlstrom was the “subsequent man up” with the purpose of exhibiting head coach Barry Trotz that he intends to stay round.
“I assumed he was actually good,” Trotz stated. “I assumed he was actually efficient. I assumed for his first sport he didn’t look misplaced in any respect. He was bodily. The pace wasn’t a difficulty. I assumed he moved his toes, he stayed concerned. He didn’t watch the sport. He was robust on pucks and he obtained some alternatives. He put himself able to get some alternatives. For a primary sport, it was a very good one.”Head Coach Barry Trotz on Oliver Wahlstrom’s first sport, through NHL.com
He didn’t want a lot time to settle in, and admittedly, he didn’t have it. Wahlstrom obtained again to Bridgeport early Sunday morning. After a nap, he obtained the decision from the Islanders.
“It was fairly humbling to get that decision and are available up and put together for this sport,” Wahlstrom stated. “It was an unbelievable sport and win for us. I’m very lucky to have gotten this name.”
His father, Joakim, was in a position to watch his son in his NHL debut and even helped him select his son’s tie. “It was actually particular,” Wahlstrom recalled. “He helped me select out my tie at present. It obtained actually emotional.”
Wahlstrom’s highway to the NHL was something however typical. After making his approach via the USA Hockey Nationwide Workforce Growth Program, he discovered a possibility to play faculty hockey at Boston College. He didn’t have a very nice 12 months, notching 19 factors in 36 video games, however determined to depart the faculty ranks even earlier than being provided an novice tryout with the Sound Tigers. Finally in Bridgeport, he performed simply 5 video games, however managed to contribute, scoring two targets and including an help. After being a late minimize in camp heading into this season, he began the season robust within the AHL with a purpose and three factors in 4 video games, incomes the decision as much as the Islanders.
Wahlstrom, the Islanders’ 2018 first-round choose (11th general), hopes his effort in his debut results in a continued spot within the lineup. With Jordan Eberle’s damage nonetheless unclear, it seems Walhstrom can have a least a few video games with the large membership.