Sniper on deck
Next in the countdown is potentially the best scoring threat in the draft, let’s get into it!
BSH 2018 Community Draft Board, No. 5: Oliver Wahlstrom
Position / Team: C/RW /USNTDP (USHL) (Harvard University commit)
2017-18 Statistics: 22 G, 23 A in 26 GP
Size: 6’1” 185
What’s there to like?
The absolute first thing, like I mean if you notice anything else I don’t know what you’re watching, is Oliver Wahlstrom’s shot. He very well may have the best shot in this year’s draft class and he puts it on display regularly. In total, between his games in the USHL and games with the U.S National Development Team Program, 70 goals this past season. He also added seven goals in seven games at the U18 World Junior Championships. This guy is about as much of a pure goal scorer as you’re going to find. He also doesn’t limit his goal scoring to just using his quick shot, he gets into the dirty areas and positions himself very well in the offensive zone. To put in perspective how great his year was in the USHL, he was 25th in the league in goals according to prospect-stats.com, every skater ahead of him played in at least 32 games, compared to his 26.
However, that’s not all there is to the sharp shooting American. Wahlstrom possesses quick hands, and solid skating ability He’ll also be an immediate help to any team’s power play with his one-timer. Wahlstrom also plays with a bit of that grit that will have Hockey Men drooling. He finishes checks, and is very responsible defensively, especially in the neutral zone.
He’s also particularly strong on the puck which will help him a great deal at the NHL level. Sometimes you’ll see players with a great shot simply rely on that to help them get by, Wahlstrom is able to create opportunities for himself as well which makes his shot all the more dangerous.
Here’s a highlight package from his play at the U18 WJC:
What’s not to like?
Truth be told, there really isn’t a whole lot. He doesn’t appear to have the best passing vision, but that is most likely large in part due to the fact he’s being fed the puck to shoot more often than not. His skating is perfectly fine, but I guess if we want to nitpick, it’s not at an extremely high level.
How would he fit in the Flyers’ system?
Well, he definitely addresses the “the Flyers need a pure goal scorer” dilemma. He would most likely slide in behind Morgan Frost in the Flyers forward prospect ranks, if he doesn’t make the jump to the NHL right away. If he did so happen to make that jump, what a replacement that would be for Valtteri Filppula as 3C, assuming the Flyers would keep him at center.
Could the Flyers actually get him?
Oh, oh I really wish, but probably not. Wahlstrom, barring some heavy doses of shenanigans, will go in the top 5 and I just don’t see Ron Hextall trading up in general, let alone all the way up to 5.
One gone, one added. Welcome to the poll, Noah Dobson.
Noah Dobson — Acadie-Bathurst Titan (QMJHL) — 17 G, 52 A in 67 GP
A talented two-way defenceman that can play in all situations and stay productive. Uses his edges well and is, for the most part, a very smooth skater; however, as he gets stronger and adjusts to a more up-tempo style of hockey, he will need to work on his speed in gap-closing. Offensively, he utilizes his keen sense of awareness to be in the right spot at the right time, every time. Soft hands and a deadly shot accentuate his ability to get creative, on occasion. Rock solid defensively, his strong positioning severely limits time and space for the opposition. All-in-all, a well-rounded, reliable, and consistent defenceman that can log a lot of ice time and provide his team with a stable presence on the back end. — via Elite Prospects
2018 BSH Community Draft Board
- Rasmus Dahlin — D, Frolunda (SHL) (no vote)
- Andrei Svechnikov — RW, Barrie (OHL) (60% of the vote)
- Filip Zadina — RW, Halifax (QMJHL) (74%)
- Brady Tkachuk — LW, Boston University (NCAA) (57%)
- Oliver Wahlstrom — C/RW, USNTDP (USHL) (40%)
Please use your vote below to answer the following question: If all of the players listed were available when the Flyers were on the clock, who would you want them to pick?