Islanders wing Oliver Wahlstrom spoke throughout coaching camp a couple of recent mindset, saying he had cleared away the stress he placed on himself throughout powerful stretches final season.
Now, he has a brand new drawback on his fingers.
Wahlstrom, among the many scratches on Thursday evening for the Islanders’ opener in opposition to the Panthers, was sitting within the press field after each Kieffer Bellows and Nikita Soshnikov beat him out for a spot within the lineup throughout coaching camp.
Although Wahlstrom practiced main as much as the 3-1 loss to Florida, coach Lane Lambert mentioned after the sport that the scratch was attributable to a lingering upper-body damage that saved him out throughout elements of camp.
“Each him and Cal Clutterbuck are coming again and progressing from issues that they had that saved them out of coaching camp,” Lambert mentioned. “We look ahead to seeing them again within the lineup quickly.”
Lambert was noncommittal about Wahlstrom’s standing for the sport Saturday in opposition to the Geese, saying they’d see how he progresses.
Towards the top of camp, it appeared as if Wahlstrom had been crushed out for a spot within the common lineup by Bellows, who performed simply 7:16 as part of the third line with Jean-Gabriel Pageau and Josh Bailey.
Whether or not that’s certainly the case will turn into extra clear as soon as Wahlstrom is absolutely wholesome, however the 22-year-old does appear to be at a profession crossroads.
A primary-round decide in 2018, Wahlstrom was an NHL mainstay for the final two seasons, however struggled to point out his potential. After a sizzling begin to the 2021-22 season, he scored simply 3 times after the All-Star break and appeared to have points getting together with former coach Barry Trotz. With Lambert in cost, the hope was that Wahlstrom may start to flourish.
As a substitute, his coaching camp was largely nondescript and he has began the season not solely as a scratch, but additionally at risk of dropping his roster spot as soon as Clutterbuck returns from injured reserve.
It was a milestone day for defenseman Robin Salo, who performed in his first NHL opener on his twenty fourth birthday — although it might have been higher with a win.
Salo, who performed 21 video games with the Islanders final yr, mentioned he felt extra snug this time round having been part of the NHL group from coaching camp onwards.
“In fact if you get referred to as up, stuff like that occurs actually quick,” Salo mentioned after taking part in 11:28. “You don’t have time to suppose that a lot, so I suppose if you get to undergo coaching camp and all that stuff, you get in all probability a bit extra snug within the staff.”
Ilya Sorokin began in web and made 26 saves on 28 photographs (Florida had an empty-net aim). Lambert has not mentioned what his plan is for rotating Sorokin and Semyon Varlamov.
Clutterbuck (shoulder soreness) skated with the staff Thursday morning.
“I believe he’s wanting higher,” Lambert mentioned. “[We’ll] see how his development goes.”
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