Islanders' first-round draft pick Oliver Wahlstrom poses with  with team representatives after being selected as the 11th overall pick.

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Islanders Select Winger Oliver Wahlstrom, Defenseman Noah Dobson In 1st Round Of NHL Draft

June 22, 2018 - 9:24 pm
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By WFAN.com

The Islanders added some offense and some defense with their back-to-back first-round picks in the NHL draft Friday night.

The Isles took American winger Oliver Wahlstrom with the 11th overall pick and Canadian defenseman Noah Dobson with the 12th pick.

Wahlstrom has been turning heads with his scoring potential for years. At 9 years old, the Maine product became a YouTube sensation for a viral trick shot he executed at Boston’s TD Garden. The 18-year-old is a 6-foot-1 right winger with fantastic hands and a natural scoring prowess.

Wahlstrom totaled 48 goals and 94 points in 62 games playing in the USA Hockey National Team Development Program. He also registered 22 goals and 45 points in 26 games in the USHL in 2017-18. While playing in the 2018 IIHF World U19 Championship, Wahlstrom averaged a goal per game and helped Team USA secure a silver medal.

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The winger needs to maintain consistency in his effort, as when things aren’t going well his work ethic tends to dip. Wahlstrom intends to spend next season at Harvard University before playing in the NHL.

“The Islanders have a lot of young talent and are coming along here," Wahlstrom said. "I think it’s the perfect team, and I’m excited and think my game will fit in well and help.”

Dobson, 18, was named to the CHL Memorial Cup All-Star team, as well as the QMJHL First All-Star Team. The 6-3, 179-pound prospect had 17 goals and 52 assists in only 67 games.

Dobson is known to be a reliable, aware player. He is always where he needs to be exactly when he needs to be there and has an understanding of the game and its pace. Dobson can play in all situations -- he is a powerful defender as well as a strong shooter. He can create pressure and limit time and space for his opponents.

Gap-closing is Dobson’s No. 1 area for improvement. He often leaves too large of a gap when he is defending the opposition. He could also work on his speed, and try to gain a little weight. His size can often inhibit him in one-on-one battles.

The Islanders have been undergoing vast changes this offseason by adding a team president and head coach with Stanley Cup pedigrees. Lou Lamoriello has taken over as team president and general manager, replacing Garth Snow. And the Islanders on Thursday hired Barry Trotz, who led the Washington Capitals to the Cup this past season.

“As you know, we're trying to get as many prospects as we can, but I allow the scouts that have been there to pick, and they did a great job. So we're just delighted (with) the two players that we got – a good offensive player and a good-size defenseman," Lamoriello told NBCSN.