It wasn’t clear what was the next step for Oliver Wahlstrom after informing Boston College that he would not return next season, but he has made another decision. The young forward has signed his entry-level contract with the New York Islanders, starting the deal in the 2019-20 season. Brett Cyrgalis of the New York Post reports that Wahlstrom is expected to report to the AHL on an amateur tryout.
Wahlstrom, 18, was selected 11th overall last June by the Islanders and eventually settled on BC after long and very public commitments to various other schools in the NCAA. He struggled when he got there though, scoring just 19 points in 36 points. There were rumors of him leaving midseason, but he’ll now finally get the chance to turn pro and start the next stage of his development.
It seems likely that the Islanders will take it slow, given the huge upside that Wahlstrom has shown in the past. A hockey star at a very young age, the talented forward possesses an incredible shot and offensive instincts but sometimes lacks the ability to create chances for himself. When he was picked there were immediate dreams of him finishing off countless passes from Mathew Barzal in the NHL, but Wahlstrom is still a long way away from that level.
Since he doesn’t turn 19 until June, Wahlstrom can actually see his entry-level contract slide once again in 2019-20 if he doesn’t play ten games in the NHL. That’s regardless of how many times he suits up in the minor leagues, meaning the Bridgeport Sound Tigers will probably be penciling in his name more often than not next season.