TODAY'S PAPER
64° Good Evening
64° Good Evening
SportsHockeyIslanders

Bode Wilde is a wild one for Islanders

Defenseman, 18, plays with a chip on his shoulder because the second rounder believes he should have went in the first round.

Defenseman Bode Wilde has a fan in Oliver

Defenseman Bode Wilde has a fan in Oliver Wahlstrom, who called him "a really good player." Photo Credit: George A. Faella

The distinctive clank from puck hitting post rang out inside Northwell Health Ice Center. The player in the white jersey with the number 52 on his back and the chip on his shoulder had just unleashed a right-side rocket.

“I was hoping to put that in the back of the net,” Bode Wilde said.

The 6-2, 198-pound defenseman brought his heavy righthanded shot, speed, puck-moving skills and physical play to the Islanders’ prospect development camp in Eisenhower Park. He was on the losing side in Saturday’s closing scrimmage, with the Blue beating the White, 8-2.

The Islanders think they were on the winning side when they drafted Wilde. His chip admittedly comes from being taken in the second round. He was happy to be selected by the Islanders, but he had been projected to go in the teens, not No. 41 overall. So there’s a full tank of fuel stemming from that fact.

“That was definitely a goal of mine to go in the first round,” Wilde said. “I was disappointed when that didn’t happen. But I just had to get over that and get excited for Day 2, and I really was. It kind of lit a fire inside me just to kind of prove people wrong and get to where I want to go . . .

“I’m just taking it day by day and try to make those others who passed up on me regret it.”

His next team will be in the Ontario Hockey League. Wilde hopes to get to the Islanders after a year or two playing in juniors. He’s only 18 and still has some work to do, like becoming more consistent in his own zone and with making decisions on the ice.

“Yeah, I definitely have things to learn,” Wilde said. “You never stop getting better. But, yeah, sure, consistency is something that I have to work on.”

The goal, according to Wilde, is to be “a steady defender who can make plays in all three zones . . . and be a catalyst on the power play” for the Islanders.

The offensive-ignition part of his game was there last season with the United States Under-18 team. Wilde led all defensemen with 11 goals, 25 assists and 36 points in 53 games.

“He’s a really good player,” said forward Oliver Wahlstrom, one of the Islanders’ two first-round picks and Wilde’s United States National Team Development Program teammate the last two seasons. “He moves the puck well. He’s very mobile. He’s a good kid, too. I love hanging out with him. He’s going to go pretty far.”

Wilde went pretty far when he was 12. He moved away from home, leaving Montreal for Michigan to play his youth hockey. He later nixed decisions to play for Harvard and then for the University of Michigan.

“Just in terms of learning to be a pro and playing a pro schedule, I think juniors is really going to be the right move,” Wilde said. “I was a lot more anxious than I was excited to go to college. So I’m a lot happier now playing juniors.”

He’ll be even happier if he’s playing someday in the NHL.

“To get picked by the Islanders was a true honor,” Wilde said. “Unbelievable young team here. I’m hoping to be a part of that soon.”

Notes & quotes: Wahlstrom said, “It was a dream come true to be a part of my first development camp.” He said he’ll “probably be playing with Boston College” this coming season . . . Forward Kyle MacLean scored two Blue goals. Ryan Hitchcock, a forward from Manhasset, also scored in the win.

Comments

We're revamping our Comments section. Learn more and share your input.

New York Sports