23-Year-Old Right Wing – Washington Capitals
Tom Wilson Contract Information:
The Capitals re-signed Wilson to a two-year, $4 million extension.
Wilson has been suspended for two preseason games for his hit on Blues forward Robert Thomas in Friday's exhibition match.
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Tom Wilson: Past News Updates ( ▲ View most recent update )
RotoWire's Preseason Outlooks
If your fantasy league counts PIM and hits, Wilsonís a great play, as his consistent third-line minutes in the nationís capital allow him to rack up huge totals in both categories Ė his 163 PIM ranked third last season and his 253 hits were good for 10th. However, since making a more or less direct jump from juniors to the NHL three years ago, the big winger hasnít provided much in the way of offense. His seven goals and 23 points last year represented career highs; if youíre looking on the bright side, that means heís trending in the right direction, but itís safe to say weíre still waiting for Wilsonís first-round draft pedigree to materialize. And weíre probably going to keep waiting Ė heís not going to see top-six minutes or power-play time unless the Caps are beset by injuries, and he can only piggyback so much on Andre Burakovsky. But at just 22 years old, Wilson certainly has the upside to develop into a more well-rounded fantasy asset in the long run.
In just a couple short years, Wilson has become the de facto enforcer in the American capital. Heís one of the NHLís fiercest hitters and better fighters, but thereís more to his game than just meathead minutes. Wilson was a first-round draft pick because he has decent hands and a willingness to go to the net to score goals. He has a shot to become a top-nine guy, but it will take remarkable dedication to keep the gloves on. If he can, you can start looking at the possibility of Wilson morphing into the next Troy Brouwer or Joel Ward. Otherwise, heís a 20-point, 175-PIM pugilist.
The last time a burly 19-year-old kid became a fan favorite for the Capitals, his name was Alex Ovechkin. This time around, it could be Wilson. An offensively-gifted power forward in the junior ranks, it is safe to say that Wilsonís transition wasnít as effortless as Ovechkinís from an offensive production standpoint. Relegated to the role of enforcer, Wilson compiled an impressive 151 penalty minutes in his first season, finishing seventh in the NHL. However, his offensive numbers were far less impressive, and if he wants to do better than last seasonís three goals and 10 points, heíll likely need to find a way to stay out of the penalty box. Suffering a broken ankle in the offseason, Wilsonís place in the lineup to start the season is questionable. New coach Barry Trotz has made it clear he has high hopes for Wilson and the team will ensure his development is approached carefully, so it is possible he spends significant time at AHL Hershey honing his offensive skills. Latta possesses Milan Lucic-like upside in keeper leagues, but given the debate about his development track and his ankle injury, itís difficult to justify drafting him in single-season leagues this season.
Wilson is as young as they come in the NHL. He saw three games last postseason at the ripe young age of 19. The Caps will test him during camp this offseason, seeing how well he matches up against larger and more experienced NHL players but the 6í 4Ē 210 pound winger should be able to hold his own. Fantasy managers will want to keep an eye on Wilsonís status as their draft approaches since power forwards with offensive upside are always in demand. He is well worth a long look in keeper leagues but he is several years away from the NHL.