Tom Wilson
Tom Wilson
25-Year-Old Right WingRW
Washington Capitals
2018 Fantasy Outlook
There are few players in the league more controversial than Wilson. An intriguing blend of underrated skill and eye-popping physical play enabled Wilson to climb the depth chart in 2017-18, moving from a third-line role player to a top-line power forward in the span of a few months. With a career-high 14 goals and 35 points in 78 games, the 24-year-old's only glaring weakness is a lack of self control. He was suspended three times for questionable hits last season. With a six-year, $31 million extension in hand, Wilson's growing skill set and increased role give him plenty of breakout potential in standard formats and even more value in the rare deep leagues that place a premium on hits and blocked shots. Read Past Outlooks
$Signed a six-year, $31.02 million contract extension with the Capitals in July of 2018.
Records pair of power-play points
RWWashington Capitals
April 20, 2019
Wilson scored a goal and added a helper and six hits in Saturday's 6-0 drubbing of the Hurricanes in Game 5.
Both of Wilson's points came on the man advantage. The physical winger has two goals and two helpers in five games, adding 22 hits and eight shots on goal in the series. His top-line trio with Alex Ovechkin and Nicklas Backstrom combined for nine points Saturday, propelling the Capitals to a 3-2 series lead.
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Past Fantasy Outlooks
Wilson's 2016-17 campaign bore a noticeable resemblance to his 2015-16 -- once again, he played all 82 games and scored exactly seven goals, this time on 95 shots (four fewer than the prior season), while averaging 12:56 of ice time (a one-second increase). His PIM and hit totals dipped a bit, but with 133 and 239, respectively, Wilson remained one of the NHL’s foremost bruisers. At only 23 years old, he appears poised to serve in that role for some time, but those hoping for an offensive breakout are probably in for disappointment -- he’s flashed good hands, but that just isn't his game. It also doesn't seem likely that he’s going to step up into a steady top-six role, and the Caps have been unwilling to use him on the power play. Consider any offense that you get out of him to be a bonus.
If your fantasy league counts PIM and hits, Wilson’s a great play, as his consistent third-line minutes in the nation’s capital allow him to rack up huge totals in both categories – 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 hasn’t provided much in the way of offense. His seven goals and 23 points last year represented career highs; if you’re looking on the bright side, that means he’s trending in the right direction, but it’s safe to say we’re still waiting for Wilson’s first-round draft pedigree to materialize. And we’re probably going to keep waiting – he’s 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. He’s one of the NHL’s fiercest hitters and better fighters, but there’s 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, he’s 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 Wilson’s transition wasn’t as effortless as Ovechkin’s 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 season’s three goals and 10 points, he’ll likely need to find a way to stay out of the penalty box. Suffering a broken ankle in the offseason, Wilson’s 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, it’s 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 6’ 4” 210 pound winger should be able to hold his own. Fantasy managers will want to keep an eye on Wilson’s 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.
More Fantasy News
Finds twine in Game 2
RWWashington Capitals
April 13, 2019
Wilson scored a goal on three shots, adding three hits and a plus-2 rating in Saturday's 4-3 overtime win against the Hurricanes in Game 2 of their first-round series.
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Draws power-play assist in win
RWWashington Capitals
April 12, 2019
Wilson recorded an assist Thursday, as Washington defeated Carolina 4-2 in Game 1 of the best-of-seven series.
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Notches helper Tuesday
RWWashington Capitals
March 27, 2019
Wilson tallied an assist, a plus-2 rating and four hits during Tuesday's 4-1 victory over the Hurricanes.
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Opens scoring in road win in Philly
RWWashington Capitals
March 6, 2019
Wilson scored his 19th of the year in Wednesday's 5-3 win over the Flyers.
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Bags goal, helper Tuesday
RWWashington Capitals
February 26, 2019
Wilson recorded a goal, an assist, a plus-2 rating and four shots during Tuesday's 7-2 win over the Senators.
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