An interesting name has come across the AHL transactions page today. New York Islanders prospect Bode Wilde has been added to the Bridgeport Sound Tigers roster after previously starting on season-opening injured reserve. Wilde must be healthy enough to return to action, but what’s interesting about his assignment to Bridgeport is that he is still eligible to play for the Saginaw Spirit of the OHL where he spent last season. The Islanders must believe that he’s ready to make the leap to professional hockey after scoring 70 points in 62 games for the Spirit last season.
Still just 19 years old, the smooth-skating defenseman was picked 41st overall in 2018 after falling out of the first round. Though he still has the odd bout of poor decision making, his ability at both ends of the ice make for a very strong prospect that profiles as a potential top-four option for the Islanders down the road.
Lou Lamoriello, Barry Trotz and the rest of the New York management group have already shown they are willing to be aggressive with their top prospects, keeping Noah Dobson on the roster and recently recalling Oliver Wahlstrom. Both of those players were also selected in 2018, a draft class for the Islanders that is showing early returns as a potential franchise-changing group.
For Wilde, a chance to show what he can do at the AHL level only gets him that much closer to his eventual NHL debut. After dominating the OHL as a rookie there wasn’t a ton left for him to learn in Saginaw. Bridgeport will include a host of new challenges.