27-Year-Old Left Wing – Nashville Predators
Colin Wilson Contract Information:
Signed a four-year, $15.75 million contract with the Predators in July 2015.
A hamstring injury caused Wilson to miss the first four games of the Stanley Cup Finals, Robby Stanley of NHL.com reports.
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RotoWire's Preseason Outlooks
Wilson was one of several Preds players to turn in a breakout year and aid the team's return to the playoffs in 2014-15, netting a career-high 20 goals and 42 points. The 25-year-old, who is locked into a top-six role in Nashville, scored three power-play tallies, five game-winners, and fired 172 shots on net. Wilson led all Predators with a plus-19 rating last season and carried his success into the playoffs, finding twine five times in six first-round postseason contests. The 2008 first-round pick is turning into a dynamic goal scorer who can deliver in the clutch. The scoring in Nashville always seems to be fairly divided, so itís hard to see him making significant improvement on the point total he provided last season. Even so, if he can make a push for 20 goals and come reasonably close to matching last season's plus-19 rating, Wilson should be worth his draft-day price.
The Preds have been patient with Wilson, who they selected seventh overall in the 2008 draft. Since then, he has shown glimpses of becoming a breakout player in the NHL, but so far has failed to put it all together. Wilson has always left the Preds -- and fantasy owners -- wanting more after registering 33, 35 and 34 points in three of the last four full seasons, along with 19 points in 25 games during the lockout-shortened 2012-13 season. This season, he will be part of a significantly revamped Preds lineup, given the offseason acquisitions of James Neal, Mike Ribeiro, Olli Jokinen and Derek Roy. At long last, Wilson may finally have the supporting cast to enable him to get over the proverbial hump. He makes for a very attractive late-round selection in most standard fantasy drafts.
Patience is often rewarded and that was definitely the case for long-term Wilson owners last season. That is, until the injury bug hit. The former first rounder (2008) was the Preds' best offensive forward and delivered 19 points in 25 games. But in early March, Wilson suffered an upper-body injury that resulted in not one, but two shoulder stabilization surgeries -- the first in April (right) and the second in May (left). The last one had a four-to-five month rehab window which means he'll be hard-pressed to be ready for training camp. That could move him down many draft lists, but that would be a mistake. He's creative and talented, and could surprise, even on an offensively-challenged squad.
Wilson scored a career-high 35 points (15G, 20A) last season and likely would have broken the 40-point barrier if he hadnít missed 14 games with an assortment of injuries. Perhaps more importantly, Wilson was given more offensive responsibility by coach Barry Trotz last season, seeing an average of 16 minutes per night, roughly three minutes more per game compared to the previous two seasons. Wilson, who re-signed with the Predators for three more years in July, is expected to return to his role on the teamís second line alongside David Legwand and Patric Hornqvist. A major breakout season may still be a season or two away, but consider him a player on the rise.
Wilson played in all 82 games last season, his second with the Predators, and registered a respectable 16 goals and 34 total points - not bad for a second-year player. With the departure of guys like Steve Sullivan, Joel Ward, J-P Dumont and Marcel Goc this offseason, Wilson will be counted on even more next year to provide offense. Don't expect a huge step forward, but a 35-40 point season should be well within reach.
Wilson showed promise in his first year as a pro. He boasted a shot percentage of 13.8 after sinking eight goals in 35 games. Don't be surprised if he doesn't arrive in 2010-11, but do consider it a shock if he fails to become one of the Preds' better point producers in the future. Until then, Wilson should occasionally ride the AHL shuttle, with a lengthy stay possible if injuries deplete the Predators' center ranks.
Wilson is the top prospect for the Predators, and he appears primed to start etching out his NHL career this season. The large pivot scored plenty of points in college, but don't expect him to explode onto the scene a la Sidney Crosby or a player of that ilk. While he has the talent to play in the NHL at the age of 19, it'll probably be a season or two until his numbers are impressive enough to consider him for fantasy.
The 18-year-old prospect was the Predators' seventh overall pick of the 2008 NHL entry draft. Wilson was touted as having the ability to jump straight into his professional career, but has decided to return to play his sophomore season at Boston University. After scoring 12 goals and 23 assists in his freshman campaign, he is a prospect forward to watch closely in the near future.