At No. 16, the Washington Capitals went for a bit of surprise pick, selecting tough guy forward Thomas (Tom) Wilson from the Plymouth Whalers of the Ontario Hockey League. Most recently, Wilson is best known for fighting Dalton Thrower during the CHL/NHL Top Prospects game (an exhibition game) last February.
Wilson, who said after his selection that he had an Alex Ovechkin jersey as a child, actually has some things in common with the big Russian Capital. At 6’4″ and 203 lbs, he’s huge, he’s physical, and he has a mean streak that could rival any NHL tough guy. But he’s not “just” an enforcer.
Though he’s not quite there skill-wise, Wilson’s playing style has been compared to that of Boston Bruins forward Milan Lucic. He loves the physical aspect of the game, but can also help out a good deal offensively. Last season with Plymouth, he had 27 points (9g, 18a) in 49 games (Wilson missed a month after fracturing his knuckle on Thrower’s head during the aforementioned prospects game).
Scouts have projected that his statistics will only climb higher next season. In Midget, he averaged well over a point per game, and heading into his second full year in juniors, those numbers and that offensive talent is expected to show through.
He won’t ever be lauded for slick Datsyuk-like goals, but this NHL power forward in the making is the type of player that could be a major X-factor for any team.
Erika Schnure is a Contributor to District Sports Page, specializing in Washington Capitals prospects. She has been a hockey writer since 2010.