Oliver Wahlstrom, selected 11th overall by the New York Islanders, has officially opted to attend Boston College and is therefore ineligible for training camp this September.
According to Mike Morreale of NHL.com, Oliver Wahlstrom is electing to report to Boston College for his freshman season rather than having the opportunity to attend New York Islanders’ training camp this September.
— Mike Morreale (@mikemorrealeNHL) July 29, 2018
“There will be no training camp with the Islanders this year, so I’ll move into Boston College on August 23 and I’m excited for that,” Wahlstrom told Morreale. “It’s going to be a new adventure. It’s a good place for me to develop before the NHL, so it’ll be fun.
With two first round picks in the 2018 NHL Entry Draft (back-to-back at 11th and 12th overall), the Islanders were expected to move at least one of those picks.
However, things changed when both Wahlstrom and defenseman Noah Dobson miraculously fell out of the top 10 and the Isles snagged them both.
At development camp in June, Wahlstrom put on a clinic for his newest fans and organization. He scored two goals in the first scrimmage including a highlight-reel goal that ended up on Sportscenter and a third on a penalty shot in the second and final scrimmage.
Got hands? @WahlstromOliver does.
— New York Islanders (@NYIslanders) June 29, 2018
While he might be missing out on training camp, Wahlstrom left development camp on Long Island with a good grasp on what he needs to do to get to the next level.
“I learned you just have to perform every day,” Wahlstrom told Morreale. “You’re going to have bad days, but you can’t take a day off and you have to take care of yourself, take care of your body.”
Wahlstrom spent his last two seasons with the United States National Team Development Program (US NTDP) and scored 48 goals and 94 points in 62 games this past year.
The 18-year-old believes that attending Boston College is in his best interest, with his sights set on the NHL.
“Obviously, (Boston College coach) Jerry York is the best coach around and he’s still going with that squad. There will be a lot of guys returning so it’ll be fun to live the college life, train and develop and get ready for the NHL.”
If Wahlstrom did choose to attend training camp, his chances at making the team would appear slim.
The Islanders are crowded at the forward position and that’s without taking prospects Josh Ho-Sang and Kieffer Bellows into account because they are eligible to start the year off in Bridgeport with the Sound Tigers, the team’s American Hockey League affiliate.
Instead, Wahlstrom will develop under Jerry York at Boston College and will also get a chance to represent his country at the World Juniors which begins in late December.