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Islanders' Wahlstrom chooses NHL rink over Boston College classroom

New York Islanders forward Oliver Wahlstrom skates in

New York Islanders forward Oliver Wahlstrom skates in the 2019 Blue and White Scrimmage during the Islanders' prospect development camp at Northwell Health Ice Center on Thursday, June 27, 2019. Credit: Kathleen Malone-Van Dyke

Too few games. Too much time spent in classrooms and not on the ice.

Oliver Wahlstrom enjoyed his year at Boston College, but the Islanders’ forward prospect has always been focused on playing professional hockey.

“I want to be a pro,” said Wahlstrom, selected 11th overall in the 2018 NHL Draft. “I want to come and learn every day. I didn’t want to sit behind a desk and write essays. It was good for me to learn, but I want to be dialed in on hockey.”

Wahlstrom’s second summer development camp with the Islanders will conclude on Saturday with an open-to-the-public scrimmage at Northwell Health Ice Center in East Meadow. Friday marked the final practice sessions of the weeklong camp.

The 6-2, 203-pounder combined with defenseman Bode Wilde, the 41st selection in 2018, on Wahlstrom’s give-and-go goal in Thursday night’s scrimmage, a whet-the-appetite moment for the organization.

But this week is just a precursor to September’s training camp for the Islanders.

“I just want to have fun and enjoy it,” Wahlstrom said. “I want to put myself in a good position to hopefully make the team. Besides that, for camp, I’m taking it one day at a time.”

The native of Quincy, Massachusetts, had eight goals and 11 assists in 36 games in an up-and-down season for Boston College before joining Bridgeport. He recorded two goals and an assist in five regular-season games and had two goals and two assists in five AHL playoff games.

“I was thinking one year in college and it would be good to work out more stuff,” said Wahlstrom, who opined at last year’s prospect camp that the Rangers made a mistake in selecting Russian forward Vitali Kravtsov at No. 9 ahead of him. “At the same time, it was kind of tough to have to wait all week to play a game. It’s tough on your body and it can be tough mentally.”

“At the end of the year, he came in and he worked extremely hard and fit into the group right away,” said Bridgeport coach Brent Thompson, who is running this week’s development camp. “It was just nice to have that piece going into the playoffs.”

Notes & quotes: Camp invitees Justin Murray and Erik Brown, who both went undrafted, agreed to AHL contracts on Friday. The 6-foot, 190-pound Murray, 20, a left-shooting defenseman, spent the last four seasons in the Ontario Hockey League and had 12 goals, 28 assists and 105 penalty minutes in 67 games as he split last season between Barrie and Saginaw. The 6-2, 195-pound Brown, 23, played four seasons for Rochester Institute of Technology before playing three AHL games for Toronto at the end of last season.

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