Giving Up Already?
When players are drafted in the top 10, a lot is expected of them from the fan base of the team they were drafted by. People are normally impatient; if they don’t see quick results, the player can sometimes be dismissed and overlooked. While Colin Wilson was not be lighting up the NHL, he played well enough for a player getting his first taste of a full season, yet people are already beginning to give up on him.
For some that watch from the outside looking in, it may seem as though Predators fans are used to waiting for their prospects to develop into solid NHLers. Most players have to first put a season or two into Milwaukee before they get a chance to crack the NHL roster. This was not exactly the case for Wilson, as he made the team out of training camp in 09-10 season, but was quickly struck with a groin injury. That setback forced him to be bumped to the AHL shortly, only to be called back up to finish the season.
Last season he was a main stay in Trotz line-up, bouncing form being on the top line at one point, to the 4th line playing around 7 minutes a game. To say it was a rollercoaster of season for him may be a bit of an understatement. Though he did play all 82 games -- one of only a hand full of players to do so -- many thought ahe needed more seasoning in the AHL, while others thought he was just having some growing pains. He was prone to turnovers and defensive errors, that in a system like the Predators' are very glaring and tend to stand out more than it may have on other teams. Even with those errors, at times Wilson look dominant; he could control the game and showed the player that he may hopefully grow into.
Even with his errors and consistency issues, Wilson did still register 16 goals and 34 points, fifth-best on the team amongst forwards. He was also a plus-9 and showed the creative edge need for the Preds powerplay.
At one point Trotz put a “kids” PP together consisting of Hornqvist, Kostitsyn and Wilson, which showed some results, but mostly added the edge of unpredictability to the special teams.
While Wilson may not be an instant success there is no need to throw in the towel yet; players grow and adapt to their teams systems, and sometimes a player grow where the system adapts to them. Wilson has the makings of a good power forward and it should only be a matter of time before he puts the pieces together and becomes a top NHL forward.
So Pred fans, I ask you not to give up hope just yet, as players have their ups and downs. While Wilson has the makings of a good forward, he needs time just like most players (maybe some time in the AHL next year could help), but he is still only 21 and just starting to understand his own game.
Greg Duley (@G_Duley)