Oliver Wahlstrom grew up in Maine watching the likes of Patrice Bergeron, Brad Marchand, and David Pastrnak star for the Boston Bruins. So naturally, any time he and his Islanders visit TD Garden like on Tuesday night, it’s special for the 22-year-old.
“I played there the first three, four times with no fans [during COVID] and I played there once with fans,” Wahlstrom told amNewYork. “Just to step on that ice where you grew up knowing your buddies are in the stands, it’s going to be a fun game for sure.”
Wahlstrom admitted that he’s lost count of how many family members and friends will be on hand at TD Garden.
“I’ve gotten a lot of texts throughout the couple weeks. Even three weeks before in advance,” he said. “I had a lot of people coming.”
It was on that TD Garden ice that Wahlstrom first tasted fame. At nine years old, he became a viral sensation for a penalty shot he pulled off before a Bruins game in which he cradled the puck on his stick and spent a spinning backhander into the back of the net.
“It’s always fun playing there to see some family members and old friends,” Wahlstrom said. “Just playing in the Garden where I played intermission games, it’s pretty special.”
He didn’t go too far for college, either, starring at Boston College before getting drafted 11th overall by the Islanders in 2018. Wahlstrom had scored twice in his career in Boston against his boyhood team entering Tuesday’s matchup — though he’s hoping to come away with a little something extra this time around.
“My biggest idol was [Washington Capitals star Alex] Ovechkin and I got his stick last year which was cool,” Wahlstrom said. “So maybe I want to get Bergeron’s too because they were guys I watched on TV every night when I was younger.”
For more on the Islanders and Oliver Wahlstrom, visit AMNY.com