Oliver Wahlstrom, U.S. National Team Development Program
Position: Center/Right Wing
Age on Draft Day: 18
Height/Weight: 6’1”, 208 lbs.
2017-2018 Stats: 62 GP, 94 points (48-46—94)
Projection: Top-six goal-scoring forward
I’ll say it right now, Oliver Wahlstrom is the draft’s premiere goal-scoring talent. He seethes dynamic edge-of-your-seat ability, and has a frame that suggests he could develop into an impact power-forward-like player. He’s seen plenty of time at center, but I’m not entirely sure if that’s what he’ll be when he gets to the next level. It all depends on the season he has in front of him at Boston College.
There’s a lot of debate as to who the Red Wings should take if they stay at 6th overall. The majority of fans lean toward taking a defenseman, and then there’s a select few that if he’s available, they shouldn’t hesitate to select the Maine-born goal-scorer. It’s a fair argument — while I lean toward taking a defenseman, Wahlstrom is about the only forward I’d take at 6.
Wahlstrom’s bread and butter is attacking weak play or mistakes. He’s got a big wingspan, and a lethal shot. His highlight reel is stocked with goals that involve him scooping up a loose puck from a weak play, and launching the puck into the net before you know what’s happening. I think the biggest thing for Wahlstrom is how he’s developed. Whoever takes him needs to accept him for what he is; a shifty, elusive threat with a shot that’s right up there with the best.
I think the Red Wings would love to have Oliver Wahlstrom, but I’m not entire convinced they’re ready to have him. The reason I say that is because the organization has prided itself on growing young prospects into two-way players. With Wahlstrom’s ability and frame, he could make a fine two-way center/winger, but why change what he is?
Oh, and let’s not forget to mention that everyone loves a YouTube sensation:
If he fills out to be the player everyone is hyping him up to be, it wouldn’t be crazy to think that he could be like Vladimir Tarasenko with shooting abilities like Patrik Laine.
Big shot, big frame, a threat whenever he’s on the ice... If he meets expectations, we’re looking at something really special. Now, I’ll say that if he were a natural center, he would be a lock for me. He can play center, but I just don’t know what teams think about him in that regard. Are they ready to have a wild stallion down the middle? I’d say they should be.
If they’re not taking a defenseman, and they have a chance to draft him, I’m taking Oliver Wahlstrom over Jesperi Kotkaniemi. If I were a betting man, I’d say the Red Wings are higher on the latter.
Who are you taking at 6th overall?
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