Colin Wilson Stepping Up
There’s a lot of pressure being a 7th overall pick in a draft, but probably a little more so when you’re instantly expected to be an offensive leader on a team that doesn’t have a whole lot of offense to begin with. This year has been a tough one for Wilson, being in his first full NHL season and having to adjust to all the travel can be difficult for a new player especially one coming out of college.
Now this isn’t his first season in the NHL as he did play 35 games with the Predators last year, but broken up by injuries and being sent down to Milwaukee. Wilson last year damaged his groin area and played a majority of the year injured until finally doctors were able to diagnose it properly and treat it. Wilson did manage 15 points in those 35 games with the Predators with most of those coming near the end of the season.
As of lately though we have seen the Colin Wilson that many fans hoped he would become. With the absence of Lombardi, Erat and Sullivan currently the Predators needed someone to step up and help create some of that lost offense. With the help of others as well, Colin Wilson in for me has been the one to truly step up in into his new role.
In the 7 games since both Sullivan and Erat fell to injury, Wilson has had 7 points with 3 multi-point games 3 goals. He has also been moved to a line with Legwand and newly claimed Svatos, which has created a lot more offense and with his new power play time has helped the team’s power play increase as well. Though it’s not just the points that tell what Wilson has been doing but what he does away from the point sheet. He back-checks hard and seems to create opportunities out of nothing. Because of his strong two-way play he has gotten the coaches trust and has had his ice time increased. It also doesn’t hurt that Wilson has strayed from his pass first mentally he had in the beginning to a shoot first one which is helping him more on the score sheet. He has a good shot but seemed hesitant to use it before often opting to pass it off to Sullivan or another line mate, this could be due to him normally being a centre and having being switched to wing can be an adjustment of his game.
He recently said "I come from college where I get really hyped for the weekends, so it’s a little bit different playing four games in seven nights so I’m learning to stay even keeled and stay focused." He’s beginning on the road to being able to play to his fullest in every game, not every other game.
Being on pace currently for a 20-20 season isn’t bad for a player in his second season, he is just growing as a hockey player and can easily hit the 50 point mark if he continues playing the way he is now. Now it’s just a matter of time before Wilson hopefully becomes the player Nashville fans want him to be.