Saturday, October 19, 2013

Tom Wilson Staying With The Caps... What?

Potential hockey photo of the year...
Yesterday, the Washington Capitals made the announcement that 19-year-old, Tom Wilson, would be staying up with the big club for the remainder of the season. We thought for sure that Wilson was going to get sent back to the Plymouth Whalers this season to play big minutes and have a shot to play for Team Canada at the World Juniors. Instead, the Caps have decided to keep him around as a teenage fourth liner.

Here's what Adam Oates had to say about the decision to keep him up:
“He can go back to junior and score goals and get assists and play 20 minutes but develops a lot of bad habits and they’re not the goals you’d score here, not the assists you’d get here. They’re not the situations or the speed you’d get here."
Oates' reasoning behind the move is pretty sound and it will be interesting to see how Wilson performs this season playing a 4th line NHL role instead of being an OHL star. Wilson could have been the big fish in a little pond, but instead he will be playing under 7 minutes a night gaining NHL experience and doing some facepunching. So what can we expect from Wilson in this new role? He's already got two fights under his belt through 7 games so expect more of those. His 18 hits already rank him 58th in the league and if he keeps it up he should crack 200 easily which is pretty solid for a teenager. He's got no points and with the minutes he's playing he might finish with around 15 points (but they'll be NHL goals and assists!).

Wilson's situation reminds us Kyle Clifford with the Kings back in 2010-11. Clifford started out averaging 7 minutes/game but earned more ice mid-season and got that average up to 9:28 TOI/game. Clifford finished the season with 7 goals, 134 points, and 138 hits. Wilson should put up similar numbers to Clifford and could still find himself at the World Juniors if the Caps release him to play. With a 2-5-0 record to start the Caps could be in a position to let him go for the experience come December unless Oates doesn't want him to miss out on getting NHL goals and assists.

1 comment:

  1. Boys ..

    "Clifford finished the season with 7 goals, 134 points, and 138 hits."

    Gretzky-like :)


Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...