Wilde, a 6-foot-3 right-handed defenseman who the Islanders selected 41st overall last year, produced some pretty incredible offensive numbers this season after moving to the OHL. Wilde had 19 goals and 70 points in 62 games this year with the Saginaw Spirit, good enough for the third-highest point total of any Saginaw skater.
Aside from Wilde, some other ‘00 birth year defenseman posted some similar numbers in their third year of OHL eligibility, being Ryan Merkeley and Adam Boqvist, both first round picks last season. Wilde (barely) edged out both of them in points per game, finishing with a 76.8 points per 68 game average, while Merkeley was slightly below at 76.6 PP/68 and Boqvist finished with a 75.6 PP/68.
Another comparable is Evan Bouchard who was selected 10th overall last year, though he had an 88.3 PP/68 pace that season, in what was also his third year of OHL eligibility.
But how does Wilde’s massive offensive season compare to other current NHL players? We compiled a list of former OHL stars and how they produced in their third year of OHL eligibility to find out. That being said, the closest comparables actually came to be Ryan Merkeley and Adam Boqvist in terms of points per game.
Wilde ended up ranking higher than quite a large portion of the defensemen, including Rasmus Andersson, Cody Ceci, Travis Dermott, Vince Dunn, Victor Mete, Darnell Nurse, Mikhail Sergachev and Nikita Zadorov. These defensemen all produced between 50 PP/68 and 65 PP/68, not even nearing Wilde’s production this year. Wilde finished lower than Dougie Hamilton, Tony DeAngelo and Ryan Ellis who all produced at least 86 PP/68.
That said, there were a lot of good NHL defenseman named in those comparables. What does that mean for Wilde’s likelihood of becoming a solid NHL defenseman? Who knows.
That being said, it shows that Wilde’s development is on track without a doubt, at least offensively. He's someone that Islanders fans should continue to pay very close attention to in the coming years and could be part of a very strong New York backend for many years.
It also means that the Islanders basically had a third first-round pick last year by getting the chance to take Wilde to go along with Noah Dobson and Oliver Wahlstrom.