How New York’s Wahlstrom Broke The Hockey Internet at Age Nine
With the New York Islanders and Philadelphia Flyers deadlocked at three goals each, Islanders' young forward Oliver Wahlstrom skated to center ice. Wahlstrom carried the puck through the Flyers' offensive zone on his forehand, shot it past Philadelphia goaltender Carter Hart and in the back of the net, winning the game for New York in the shootout.
Now, let's rewind a bit. Let's go back to early fall, 2009, in Boston, Massachusetts. Wahlstrom, then a nine year old, is playing for the Portland Junior Pirates. The rest of the team was made up of 12 years old, but the clearly-gifted Wahlstrom was playing along with them.
The team was invited to the TD (Banknorth) Garden in Boston, to participate in the Boston Bruins' new series, the "Mini One-on-One" shootout. Wahlstrom was chosen by his team to participate, and proceeded to do this.
Just to make sure we're on the same page, he was NINE YEARS OLD when he did this. It's been over a decade since I saw this for the first time, and I still can't wrap my head around this.
Needless to say, the name "Oliver Wahlstrom" was immediately known among hockey circles in the northeast, and began to be mentioned nationwide. The video above has garnered over 7.8 million views, and he would appear on television on a number of local stations.
Though he was nearly a decade away, Oliver Wahlstrom was on a number of team's draft boards already.
Wahlstrom would join the United States National Team Development Program in 2016, playing with the team through the 2018 season. After going through a carousel of college commitments and de-commitments, Wahlstrom would settle on Boston College. He was drafted 11th overall by the New York Islanders in 2018, and after a strong freshman campaign with the Eagles, signed his entry level contract ahead of the 2019-20 season.
At age 21, Wahlstrom has become a mainstay in the Islanders' lineup, and New York fans are hoping he is here to stay.
That all being said, he has yet to create as much buzz for himself as a professional, as he did when he went viral back in 2009.