The New York Islanders have inked another top prospect, this time agreeing to terms with defenseman Bode Wilde on a three-year entry-level contract. Wilde is currently playing for the Saginaw Spirit of the OHL, where he will remain for the rest of the season.
Wilde was part of the exceptional 2018 draft class by the Islanders, the third of four picks in the top-43. Selected 41st overall despite being ranked 17th among North American skaters by Central Scouting and considered a first-round lock by many, he had plenty to prove this season. That season was supposed to be at the University of Michigan, but Wilde decided to forego the collegiate route and instead sign in the CHL to continue his development. That decision has also allowed him to get under contract with the Islanders quicker, and avoid any potential signing issues down the road.
The 6’4″ defenseman is an incredible skater and can move the puck well, but like all young players is prone to make mistakes in coverage. That hasn’t forced any struggles at the OHL level, given Wilde has 22 points in 21 games, but will need to be ironed out before he can make the jump to the professional level. Luckily, the 18-year old has plenty of time to refine his defensive game and will likely get another chance to do so for USA Hockey at the upcoming World Junior Championship. Wilde was born in Montreal, but competes for the United States in international competition.