Oliver Wahlstrom appreciative of Barry Trotz’s ‘tough love’

Oliver Wahlstrom appreciative of Barry Trotz’s ‘tough love’

If Oliver Wahlstrom was upset along with his remedy by the hands of Barry Trotz, he did a superb job of hiding it. 

After a tough second half of the season, through which Wahlstrom’s minutes had been typically held beneath 10, he was made a wholesome scratch twice within the season’s closing weeks and he badly struggled, scoring simply three objectives after the All-Star break, the 21-year-old ahead forged an upbeat demeanor in his final time talking with reporters this season on Saturday morning. 

“It was good,” he stated of his relationship with Trotz. “I want robust love typically. It’s a part of the sport; it’s a part of the enterprise. It was simply ups and downs for me, clearly, this yr. I like the sport, and I take info in and attempt to use that.” 

Wahlstrom, the eleventh general choose in 2018, has tantalizing potential, with an enormous shot and offensive prowess. And within the early a part of the season, he appeared to be placing it collectively, with 10 objectives earlier than the All-Star break. Then, his manufacturing fell flat. 

Coupled along with his struggles in his personal finish — Trotz typically cited poor puck administration in explaining why he was upset with Wahlstrom’s play — that made for a protracted finish to the season. Trotz tried placing him on a line with Mathew Barzal, a duo that had potential on paper, however regardless of a couple of promising moments, it didn’t work constantly. 

Oliver Wahlstrom struggled all through the second half of the season. Corey Sipkin for the NY POST

The Islanders coach, although, additionally commonly made point out of Wahlstrom’s youth, an element he gave a reminder of Saturday when he stated street journeys this season had been the primary time he had ever been to California. 

“I believe for me all the pieces may very well be higher,” Wahlstrom stated. “This summer time, I’m gonna work on capturing, goal-scoring, skating, edges, my diet. All the pieces.” 

Regardless of his age, Wahlstrom is coming into a vital offseason. Subsequent season is the final yr of his rookie deal, that means the Islanders might want to determine whether or not to make a longer-term dedication sooner moderately than later. One other think about that blend is GM Lou Lamoriello’s March declaration that he would use the offseason to make “hockey trades” looking for fixing the problems that plagued the Isles this season. 

If one other crew sees extra worth in Wahlstrom’s potential than the Islanders, that may make him a logical candidate to be on the transfer. 

Kyle Palmieri drew a comparability between the state of affairs he discovered himself in early on in his profession with the Anaheim Geese and the present predicament dealing with Wahlstrom and Kieffer Bellows. Although Palmieri had potential, and would typically play on the primary line with Ryan Getzlaf and Corey Perry, his minutes had been inconsistent and he’d often be out of the lineup solely. 

Finally, Palmieri turned a constant 25-goal scorer, however his breakout season didn’t come till he hit age 24 and was enjoying on the opposite facet of the nation with the Devils. 

Oliver WahlstromGetty Photographs

“I believe as you progress ahead, not that it’s a must to sit and wait to your alternative, however they’re gonna get a possibility to develop and proceed to be higher hockey gamers,” Palmieri stated. “Generally it takes time. 

“For me it took, I suppose you may name it a change of surroundings and a possibility in New Jersey, and that was once I was 24 or 25 years outdated, to seek out that constant stage of being an affect participant evening in and evening out. So I believe these guys are heading in the right direction. They’re each actually proficient gamers.” 

For him, that breakout got here when he was constantly within the lineup. Attending to that time for Wahlstrom would require following by way of on the little issues Trotz has harped on, in addition to a significantly better offensive output than he produced late within the season. 

Noah Dobson, who was drafted with the choose instantly after Wahlstrom, took that leap this season. Subsequent season, Wahlstrom needs it to be his flip. 

“I’m excited to work on these issues,” Wahlstrom stated. “I do know the kind of participant I may be and the arrogance I can get.”

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