Colin Wilson Season Preview: Shouldering the Offensive Load Post-surgery

USA TODAY Sports

Greenwich, CT native Colin Wilson looked ready to take the helm as the team's offensive leader last season after a slow start to his pro career. The young power forward has come a long way since he led the Boston University Terriers to the 2009 NCAA Men's Hockey Championship, and the 2013-2014 season should be an exciting one for "Willy."

Nashville Predators forward Colin Wilson decided to forego his final two years of NCAA playing eligibility to make the leap to the NHL, after helping to power the Boston University Terriers to a national championship in 2009. Wilson was also a runner-up for the Hobey Baker award—American college hockey's version of the Heisman Trophy. (Wilson's BU teammate Matt Gilroy took the hardware instead.)

As bright a prospect as he was, he failed to impress Barry Trotz in his 2009-10 rookie season, and spent a lot of time riding the pine in Nashville, or down on the farm in Milwaukee. Between that and a groin injury, Wilson didn't have much fun during his first pro season. Fast forward to last year's lockout-shortened season, and Colin Wilson was leading all Predators in points heading into early March, propelled by his first career three-assist game (vs. St. Louis on February 5), a five-game point streak (2G, 5A) February 12-19, and his first career four-point game (2G, 2A vs. Edmonton on March 8).


Colin Wilson

#33 / Left Wing / Nashville Predators

6-1

216

Oct 20, 1989


Season GP 5on5 TOI/Gm 5on5 Pts/60 Corsi Rel On-Ice Sht % On-Ice Sv% PDO Pen Take Pen Drawn OZ Strt% Shots/60
2013 25 13.47 1.96 +10.9 8.7 902 988 0.4 0.7 50.6 3.56
2012 68 13.42 1.38 +14.3 8.6 916 1002 0.3 0.7 49.9 5.65
2011 82 11.43 1.79 +1.3 8.9 941 1030 0.3 0.5 51.8 5.19
2010 35 13.00 1.45 +1.1 7.5 914 989 0.1 1.2 48.1 6.86

Then, on March 9, Wilson sustained a shoulder injury early in a tilt against a Minnesota Wild team led by former Predators defensman Ryan Suter. Two days later, the team placed him on injured reserve, and in early April, the team announced Wilson wouldn't return for the remainder of the season. Despite his injury trouble, he earned an "A" grade over the summer from OTF boss Dirk Hoag. Wilson underwent shoulder surgery in May.

As Cap Geek notes, the Predators have Colin Wilson's services for the next two years with a cap hit of only $2 million each year. It's shocking to think that someone with Wilson's poise on the puck is only 23 years old, but there you have it. Wilson is a skilled power forward, a slightly smaller version of Rick Nash you might say, who has only begun to hit his prime. He can play at center or on the wing, and should frequently factor in Nashville's top power play unit and in a top six role at even strength. As long as he stays healthy, Wilson this year will finally make GMDP look like a genius for holding out of the high-end UFA market, or for not trading away prospects for short-term scoring help come playoff time in recent years.

He may yet be too young or too unproven, so Wilson was passed over by GMDP (who is also the general manager for the U.S. Men's Olympic Hockey Team) for the Olympic Development Camp in Washington, DC last month. Rest assured as he lurches toward a contract year in 2014-15, Wilson will put together an impressive performance that will command high dollars in his next contract, and prestigious consideration for international competition going forward.

I personally picked Colin Wilson to lead the Predators in scoring this year. If you disagree with me, I'm judging you.

Stats Table Explanation

  • GP: Games Played
  • 5on5 TOI/Gm: Ice Time per game in 5-on-5 play
  • 5on5 Pts/60: Points earned (goals & assists) per 60 minutes of 5-on-5 play
  • Corsi Rel: The shift in the balance of Total Shots For & Against when that player is on the ice during 5-on-5 play, as opposed to when he is on the bench. Total Shots = Shots on Goal + Missed Shots + Blocked Shots. Represents an individual's influence on the flow of play.
  • On-Ice Sht %: The team's shooting percentage when that individual is on the ice during 5-on-5 play. Generally, individuals have little to no influence on this number, which can bounce around randomly from season to season.
  • On-Ice Sv%: The team's save percentage while that individual is on the ice in 5-no-5 play. Again, individual's usually have very little influence on this number.
  • PDO: The sum of On-Ice Sht% and On-Ice Sv%, this trends very strongly to 1000 over the long run for almost all players. High values indicate fortunate "puck luck", low values the opposite.
  • Pen Take: Penalties committed by that player per 60 minutes of 5-on-5 ice time.
  • Pen Drawn: Penalties committed by opponents, but drawn by that player (creating power plays for him team) per 60 minutes of 5-on-5 ice time.
  • OZ Strt%: Offensive Zone Start %, the percentage of non-neutral zone faceoffs that player is on the ice for which are in the offensive zone. A measure of how a player is deployed by his coach.
  • Shots/60: Shots on goal taken by that player per 60 minutes of 5-on-5 ice time.

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