Islanders Oliver Wahlstrom one of the league’s most effective players
New York Islanders fans were discussing two things after Saturday’s game. The first was the fact that the team won for the first time in their new home. And then it was the little ice time that Oliver Wahlstrom received in the victory.
How much ice time are we talking about exactly? Wahlstrom clocked 9:49 of total ice time in Saturday’s win. With 1:41 of power play time, Wahlstrom played 8:08 evenly. Only Ross Johnston had less total ice time in the win with 9:38 total time.
Which is, as you can imagine, wild considering its production.
Since the schedule changed from November to December, Wahlstrom has been at the top of his game with three goals and eight points in six games. By averaging correct less than 12 minutes of total ice time (11:58).
This production combined with his limited ice time has made Wahlstrom one of the most effective forwards in the NHL since December. And by efficient, I mean he’s racking up more points on a base 60 than any other forward in the NHL.
Of course, Wahlstrom isn’t a perfect player, but he seems to be doing exactly what the New York Islanders need right now. So using it less than 12 minutes a night on average and less than ten minutes in the last game is something strange.
Why is he playing so little if he’s one of the best forwards in the game right now? Who knows? Honestly, no one knows. Not even Barry Trotz. After Saturday’s win, the coach commented that he thought he was playing it more. It’s wild.
A player’s ice time should directly reflect the coach’s confidence in that player. This is something Barry Trotz himself said not so long ago. Players will have more shifts if they play well. And Wahlstrom did. Except he doesn’t have ice time.
I can only hope this happens because Wahlstrom is doing exactly what the team needs of him. He scores points even with considerably condensed ice time.