It has to be a good omen.
Oliver Wahlstrom is headed back to the United States in preparation for the start of the 2021 NHL season. AIK announced that Wahlstrom was headed back to the States on Monday afternoon. Wahlstrom also posted the news on his social media accounts.
@NYIslanders har kallat tillbaka Oliver Wahlström för uppstarten av NHL-säsongen. Vi tackar Oliver för sin tid i AIK och önskar lycka till hemma i USA! 🤝
— AIK Hockey (@AIKishockey) December 14, 2020
Wahlstrom’s return is another sign of an anticipated deal between the NHL and Players Association to get a season up and running in a short time. The league is aiming to start play on Jan. 13 with training camps opening on Jan. 2 for most teams.
The Islanders prospect has been playing for AIK in Sweden’s second division. Wahlstrom appeared in 10 games for AIK and had four goals and four assists in that span. He was one of several Islanders prospects that had been sent overseas to continue to play while the league figured out their plan for next season.
Oliver Wahlstrom had 22 points (10 goals, 12 assists) in 45 games with the Bridgeport Sound Tigers last season. He finished the year with eight points (five goals, three assists) over the final 12 games before COVID-19 halted things.
“Early in the year there was a lot of turnovers and swings,” Sound Tigers coach Brent Thompson told NYI Hockey Now earlier this year. “He can handle the physical goings so he used his body a little bit more later in the year.”
The current cap crunch the Islanders find themselves in means that more than ever Wahlstrom has a chance at cracking the opening night lineup this year for New York. He did appear in nine games in the NHL last season before being sent back down to Bridgeport.
Wahlstrom is known as a goalscorer and that was starting to come through before the pandemic halted the AHL season. The Islanders will need someone with that skill set and with the limited cap space they have, that will most likely come internally this season.