David Ullstrom was overlooked in the 2007 NHL Entry Draft, but after a strong performance in 07/08, his stock increased. The tall and strong center was among the very best players in the Swedish junior league and scored impressive 27 goals and 54 points in 40 regular season games.
2007-08: Ullstrom played for HV 71 in the Swedish Junior League, leading the team in goals (17), assists (22) and points (39) in 27 games during the regular season.
2008-09: In 19 games with HV71, Ullstrom would only manage one goal and three assists. He would also play for Sweden at the World Juniors, scoring two goals and two assists en route to a silver medal win.
2009-10: Back to HV71, Ullstrom would go. This time in 47 games with the club, he would add five goals and 11 assists en route to a championship.
2009-10: Ullstrom saw significant ice time as a 20-year-old for Sweden Elitserien champion HV71. In 47 games with the club he scored 5 goals with 11 assists and was -2 with 27 PMs. In 16 playoff games he scored 2 goals and was -1. Ullstrom signed a three-year, entry-level contract with the Islanders in June 2010.
2010-11: Ullstrom got off to a fast start in his first pro season in North America with the AHL Bridgeport Sound Tigers. After a dip in production in mid-season, due in part to a hand injury, he had a strong finish and was one of the offensive leaders for the last-place Sound Tigers. In 67 games he scored 17 goals with 24 assists, including 8 power play goals. Ullstrom had 36 PMs and his -10 plus/minus was partly due to the team's struggles.
2011-12: Ullstrom made his NHL debut with the Islanders in November after beginning the year with New York's AHL affiliate Bridgeport. He skated in 29 NHL games in his first season – missing nine games in January due to a concussion – and shuttled between the NHL and AHL. Ullstrom scored 4 goals with 4 assists and was minus-two with 6 penalty minutes for the Islanders. He scored a team-leading 24 goals in 40 games for Bridgeport and was plus-nine with 6 assists and 22 penalty minutes. In the Sound Tigers' three-game playoff series with Connecticut he had 1 goal and 1 assist (sharing the points lead with Justin DiBenedetto).
2012-13: Ullstrom appeared in 20 NHL games in his third season in the Islanders organization — suffering a groin injury in March that kept him out of ten games. He played with New York's AHL affiliate Bridgeport during the lockout and shuffled between the two clubs in March and April. He scored 2 goals with 3 assists and was -2 with 6 penalty minutes for the Islanders during the regular season. Ullstrom played in three playoff games during the Islanders-Pittsburgh series and had 1 assist. In 33 games for Bridgeport he scored 9 goals with 17 assists and was +14 with 14 penalty minutes. The Sound Tigers missed the AHL playoffs after finishing third in the Northeast Division. New York tendered Ullstrom a contract offer in June of 2013 but he signed to play with Lokomotiv Jaroslavl in the KHL in 2013-14.
Ullström has a combination of skills that makes him an intriguing prospect. First and foremost, he has very good size and strength. He is big and uses this to his advantage in most situations. What makes him stand out is that he is a really good skater for a player of his size and reaches very good speed. To go with his speed and strength, he has above average technical skills and stickhandles very smoothly through traffic. His coast-to-coast rushes have been a trade mark of his in the Swedish juniors.
Offensively, Ullström is a natural good scorer that rather finishes a play than delivers the puck. He has a good shot, a quick wrister with good accuracy. He is also aggressive and usually has a few good hits per game. There is little to complain about when it comes to Ullström’s offensive game. Defensively, however, he does not play it as safe. He back-checks, although perhaps not as effectively as desired and sometimes makes too risky plays in his own end. Also, consistency has been somewhat an issue, as he has been known to be streaky.
Ullstrom has moved over to the KHL for the 2013-14 season to play for Yaroslavl, making his future in the Islanders' organization a cloudy one.