For 13-year-old shootout phenom Oliver Wahlstrom, hockey is just plain fun. The University of Maine will make sure he keeps playing for a long time.
According to Chris Peters of CBS Eye on Hockey, Wahlstrom made a verbal commitment to play collegiate hockey for the University of Maine. Obviously, the kid isn’t going to college any time soon – the seventh grader will be a college freshman in the fall of 2019. But if his hockey game becomes as sensational as his shootout moves, the Maine Black Bears may have secured a collegiate star in the making.
Wahlstrom, a native of Yarmouth, Maine, became Internet-famous back in 2009 for a crazy shootout move performed during the pregame activities at a Boston Bruins game. A 9-year-old Wahlstrom was able to snap the puck up on his stick and wrap it all the way around his body to whip it past the goaltender. The video instantly went viral.
As if that wasn’t enough, at another Bruins shoootout two years later Wahlstrom decided to channel some lacrosse skills and cradled the puck all the way down the ice before putting it in around the goaltender’s head.
Wahlstrom is playing against high school players as a middle schooler, and Wahlstrom’s coach had a lot of good things to say about his future.
“Oliver is a very special player who has done well for us this year despite facing much older competition,” North Yarmouth head coach Eric Graham in a press release from the school. “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.”
Wahlstrom can now spend the next five years working on some moves that would actually work at the college level, but I doubt anyone would be mad at him for putting out a few more viral shootout dekes.
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Around the Rink Assistant Site Manager Joe Ray - @jpray_SK
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Featured photo courtesy of Bangor Daily News