Colin Wilson Season Review: It's Your Sweater Number, Not a Scoring Prediction
Thanks, Willy, for making me eat crow. <a href="https://www.ontheforecheck.com/2013/9/27/4776556/colin-wilson-season-preview-nashville-predators-2013-2014">I predicted you'd be the team's leading scorer this year</a>, and you made me look like a jerk. Okay, okay, I do that enough myself. BUT
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After being sidelined by injury for considerable periods of time twice already in his still-young career, the end of the lockout-shortened 2013 campaign put Colin Wilson on the operating table last summer to repair both shoulders. Despite our best hopes that this would turn #33 into Nashville's version of Henry Rowengartner, the former Boston University Terrier and Hobey Baker Award finalist put together an underwhelming, if average for him, season performance. After 5 years in the NHL, the Greenwich, Connecticut native has never broken the 20-goal mark, though he did eclipse 20 assists for the second time in his career. Wilson's speed, strength, and playmaking abilities are still his best traits, but he still has yet to develop into the type of dynamic scorer into which fellow pivot Craig Smith seems to be blossoming.
In keeping with praise of Wilson's playmaking abilities, check out this sleek, almost no-look backhand pass between Scottie Upshall's legs from Wilson to Mike Fisher, who then stuffed a goal past Florida Panthers netminder Tim Thomas:
The Road Ahead
Many of the OTF commentariat concluded, especially late in the season, that the Wilson experiment is probably over, that if we're not getting highlight reel plays after 5 years, we're probably not going to get them at all. Colin Wilson enters a contract year next fall, under a new, offense-minded head coach, and a new system of play. It's no secret that Wilson and former head coach Barry Trotz had different visions regarding player development. Wilson will make $2.5 million next season, with a cap hit of $2 million. My best prediction is that he'll continue to receive opportunities in all situations, especially if David Poile can shed some other bad contracts at the center position over the summer. If he has a breakout season, that's all to the good for Nashville, who will get first crack at qualifying him as an RFA. If he has another middling or disappointing season, he can be moved ahead of or at next year's trade deadline.
OTF Staff Grades
It's entirely possible that we're being too tough on Wilson. I'll let the others defend their grades in the comments below, but for me, I have become perennially disappointed by Colin Wilson. He seems to have so much potential, especially given the collegiate career he had. Then again, the NCAA ain't the NHL, not by a long shot, and I began to wonder if my expectations weren't simply too high. I thought as we neared the trade deadline that Wilson should've been packaged with David Legwand, or offered up in another trade to a rebuilding franchise like the Edmonton Oilers. In any event, it seems like Wilson is running out of time to prove he belongs in the NHL. #FreeWilly or bust!
What do you think: were we too hard on Willy?
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