From June 17-21, Charlie Roumeliotis will profile two prospects per day — 10 total (five forwards, five defensemen) — leading up to the NHL Draft.
Position: Right wing
Weight: 205 pounds
"Wahlstrom already has an NHL-caliber shot with a quick release and the ability to create space for himself and linemates. He's most known for his goal-scoring ability and elite shot, and can hit a one-timer as good or better than many professional players."
NHL player comparable: Phil Kessel
Fit for Blackhawks:
The Blackhawks would probably prefer to take a defenseman at No. 8, but because four of them might go inside the Top 7, the best available player on the board is likely to be a forward. And there's a decent chance that could be Wahlstrom.
Wahlstrom would immediately become Chicago's top prospect, and a player that has the potential to slide into the top six when he reaches the NHL — whenever that may be.
He's committed to college for the 2018-19 season, so it's doubtful he would join the team until at least 2019-20, but Blackhawks vice president of amateur scouting Mark Kelley said in our draft preview edition of the Hawks Talk Podcast that it wouldn't deter them from picking him.
And it shouldn't, because you don't want to waste a player of his caliber's entry-level years developing in the minors if he's not ready yet.
"I think the way we would evaluate it is, we project them, we try to get a timeline on when we think they might be NHL ready," Kelley said. "But we're also looking for where they are in their development curve and want their ceiling is. I think in some players, you have to be a little bit more patient for them to reach their ceiling. That doesn't necessarily mean that players can't exceed their development curve, I think we saw that with Alex DeBrincat last year."