My Maine Hockey Journal story
North Yarmouth Academy (NYA) ice hockey forward Oliver Wahlstrom (’19, Yarmouth) made a commitment to University of Maine head coach Red Gendron on Thursday morning, informing the staff that he will be a Black Bear in the fall of 2019. Wahlstrom represents the first player born in 2000 to commit to a NCAA Division 1 college for men’s ice hockey.
Wahlstrom, a 5’9 155lb seventh grader, earned a spot on the North Yarmouth Academy varsity team this past fall. NYA Head Coach Eric Graham has been impressed with Wahlstrom’s adjustment to prep school hockey. “Oliver is a very special player who has done well for us this year despite facing much older competition. His skating ability and ice awareness have allowed him to not only compete at the prep level, but get noticeably better in every game he’s played. His skill set is exceptional, and his approach to the game is mature well beyond his years. As serious as he is about hockey, he has a pure love of the sport which becomes clear whenever he steps on the ice. He loves scoring goals, and he loves having the puck on his stick. The University of Maine has landed a great talent and person in Oliver Wahlstrom. Congratulations to Oliver and his family,” said Graham.
Wahlstrom has an extensive youth hockey background that started with Pro Ambitions, Boston Jr. Bruins, Islanders Hockey Club, Portland Jr. Pirates and last year with the NE Jr. Falcons ‘99 team. During spring and summers for the last nine years, Oliver participated in many national and international tournaments including the Brick tournament in Edmonton and the prestigious Pee Wee tournament in Quebec with the New England Jr. Falcons and New York Rangers. Oliver plays for a Swedish team internationally in the spring, competing against some of the top players in the world for his age group. In the summer, Wahlstrom also trains with Stride Envy Skating Owner Adam Nicholas, who praises his work ethic as a key to his success, “Oliver works hard, not to impress anyone, but to be the best. He is a player that every coach dreams about because of his ‘it’ factor. Oliver’s ‘it’ factor is his motivation and work ethic. These qualities are intangibles that can only be learned at a young age. I had the opportunity to work with him because he wanted to be challenged, and once he got that challenge, he kept coming back for more.”
Wahlstrom lives in Yarmouth, Maine with his parents Penny and Joakim, and his sister Alexandra, a sophomore at NYA.
(Nathan can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org)