NHL draft profile: If Stars want to trade up for scoring, Oliver Wahlstrom would be an ideal candidate

Dynamic goal scorers are a rare commodity in the NHL. The Dallas Stars are just on the outside of where they could expect to be able to draft one, but if they move up a premier scorer could be waiting for them. Oliver Wahlstrom is among the top goal scorers in this draft.

That image is 100 percent him as a nine year old after he pulled off a ridiculous penalty shot goal.

Thanks to Adam Herman of Blueshirt Banter for indirectly bringing it to my attention.

That video is full of fun and cute, but he can really play too. Wahlstrom is one of the top offensive players in this draft because of his dynamic playmaking and shooting ability. He spent the last season playing wing for 2019 top pick Jack Hughes. They were simply dominant.

What makes Wahlstrom so special? You can see a lot of it just in the highlights. His release is really fast. A good release can make an otherwise fine shot elite. It’s like a 6-7 pitcher who throws 94 miles per hour. The velocity is already good, but it’s also deceptively fast because the pitcher is so big it feels like it gets on the hitter faster. Wahlstrom has a good shot, but that extra bit of time saved by having a quick release makes it an even deadlier weapon.

He likes to use that shot too. He fired over four shots per game for the USNTDP. If you have a shot like that you may as well use it, eh? Wahlstrom is also a top notch playmaker from the wing who you can see making plays up and down the ice. Players like Wahlstrom always get asked to improve defensively, but let’s be real here. When you can shoot like that good things seem inevitable. 

Maybe Wahlstrom makes it to college, but players with this much talent getting picked as high as he is projected to go rarely make it anymore. Whoever takes Wahlstrom is picking a player capable of going right into the lineup. 

If you’re the Stars and the cost for trading for a Max Pacioretty, Phil Kessel, or Jeff Skinner is higher than you want, what do you do? The contracts could be problematic. The cost in trade could be problematic. If they want to get a premium scorer, the idea of trading up in the draft by paying about the same or slightly more to move up for an 18-year-old dynamo could be more palatable than moving assets for a player either at or past his prime.

The bonus, if they could pull it off, is that it would add so little to the salary cap that they could easily be big players on the free agent market if they so desired. An offensive talent like Wahlstrom could help the current roster and help long term. If it’s possible, it’s something to strongly consider.


Originally published at https://sportsday.dallasnews.com/dallas-stars/stars/2018/06/14/nhl-draft-profile-stars-want-trade-scoringoliver-wahlstrom-ideal-candidate

Post Author: HockeyHawk