If the Islanders are going to earn a Wild Card seed, they’ll be doing so with winger Oliver Wahlstrom. GM Lou Lamoriello announced today that Wahlstrom has been ruled out for the season due to a lower-body injury suffered back in December.
The 22-year-old looked to be on his way to establishing new career highs offensively as he had seven goals and nine assists in 35 games prior to the injury. The uptick in per-game production came despite his playing time remaining relatively flat at just over 12 minutes a night as he seemed to adjust well under first-year coach Lane Lambert.
That said, this certainly isn’t the way that Wahlstrom wanted his entry-level contract to end with only playing half of his platform season. He’s set to become a restricted free agent this summer without arbitration rights and while he’ll undoubtedly earn more than his $874K qualifying offer, he’s almost certainly looking at a short-term bridge contract.
Fortunately for New York, there was also some good news on the injury front as the Isles also revealed that center Mathew Barzal is set to resume skating either today or tomorrow. The 25-year-old has missed more than a month with a lower-body injury but still sits second on the team in scoring with 14 goals and 37 assists in 58 games. Getting Barzal back for the final few games would go a long way toward helping them lock down a playoff position.