Colin Wilson Signs 4-year, $15.75 Million Contract

Now we can rejoice.

"It's about #%!#& time."
-Most of you

Colin Wilson, who took yet another step forward in his development during the 2014-15 season, signed on to be a part of the plans in Nashville for a while longer. Wilson spent most of the season on the second line beside Craig Smith and Mike Fisher. The end product was a productive season by all three players, and all three received a bump in compensation.

Wilson will be paid an AAV of $3.9375m.

Wilson didn't have a great playoff series during even strength play, but he was an asset on the power play. And during the season, he was the solid possession player and playmaker that Craig Smith needed to be most effective. When placed beside Mike Fisher, they formed a decent two-way line that took the pressure off the top line.

Wilson 5v5 WOWY's with Mike Fisher
Player GF60 GA60 CF%
Colin Wilson (944 minutes) 2.83 1.62 56.7
Wilson Apart from Fisher (606 minutes) 2.87 1.68 56.7
Fisher Apart from Wilson (371 minutes) 3.23 2.42 50.9
Wilson and Fisher Together (387 minutes) 2.78 1.55 53.3

Impressive. But what about that early part of the year with Calle Jarnkrok? That part had some awesome possession numbers, but it also featured Pekka Rinne playing like a man possessed.

Wilson 5v5 WOWY's with Calle Jarnkrok
Player GF60 GA60 CF%
Colin Wilson (944 minutes) 2.83 1.62 56.7
Wilson Apart from Jarnkrok (763 minutes) 2.83 1.73 54.8
Jarnkrok Apart from Wilson (567 minutes) 1.69 2.12 52.3
Wilson and Jarnkrok Together (231 minutes) 2.85 1.30 57.3

Let's take a look at two more: Craig Smith and James Neal (who played beside him and Fisher during the second half of the year).

Wilson 5v5 WOWY's with Craig Smith
Player GF60 GA60 CF%
Colin Wilson (944 minutes) 2.83 1.62 56.7
Wilson Apart from Smith (737 minutes) 2.60 1.47 53.0
Smith Apart from Wilson (771 minutes) 3.42 2.41 53.0
Wilson and Smith Together (257 minutes) 3.50 2.10 61.8
Wilson 5v5 WOWY's with James Neal
Player GF60 GA60 CF%
Colin Wilson (944 minutes) 2.83 1.62 56.7
Wilson Apart from Neal (673 minutes) 2.58 1.51 55.7
Neal Apart from Wilson (771 minutes) 3.18 2.21 58.2
Wilson and Neal Together (320 minutes) 3.37 1.87 54.8

A few things stick out:

  • Wilson improved each player's on-ice Corsi % except James Neal. It's not for lack of deployment in the offensive zone. It could be due to Mike Fisher. His WOWY's with Fisher are less impressive compared to his deployment with Ribeiro, but that's a different article.
  • Wilson plays defense better than Barry Trotz thought he did.
  • Wilson was the fourth best forward in terms of Relative CF% to the team, behind the top line.
  • As much as people like Wilson next to Fisher, he did just as good if not better next to Jarnkrok.
  • Craig Smith needs Colin Wilson about as much as Wilson needs Smith. It's cute. /

If you're wondering why Wilson got paid that much, I hope you feel a bit better about this contract. I feel good about it.

Here's the release from 501:

Nashville, Tenn. (July 27, 2015) – Nashville Predators President of Hockey Operations/General Manager David Poile announced Monday that the club has signed restricted free agent Colin Wilson to a four-year, $15.75 million contract. Wilson will be paid $3.75 million in 2015-16, then $4 million in 2016-17, 2017-18 and 2018-19 for an average annual value of $3.9375 million.

Wilson, 25 (10/20/89), set career highs in goals (20) and points (42), while tying a personal best in assists (22) in 2014-15. The Greenwich, Conn., native also led the team and set a career high in plus/minus rating (+19), and tied a career high and ranked third on the Predators in game-winning goals (5). During the 2015 Stanley Cup Playoffs, the 6-1, 216-pounder set franchise records for goals (5) and power-play goals (4) in a playoff series during the Western Conference Quarterfinals vs. Chicago. In 368 career NHL contests since 2009-10, Wilson has 178 points (77g-101a).

Nashville's first choice, seventh overall (first round), in 2008 Entry Draft, Wilson won an NCAA title in 2008-09 with Boston University (Hockey East) – his final season before turning professional, earning 2009 USA Hockey College Player of the Year, Inside College Hockey Player of the Year and being named one of three Hobey Baker "Hat Trick" Finalists in the process. He has represented the United States on the international level five times, being named Team USA’s Most Outstanding Player at the 2009 World Junior Championship, tying for the goal-scoring lead at 2008 World Junior Championship, winning a gold medal at the 2006 Under-18 World Championship while tying for the tournament scoring lead (5g-7a), and earning a silver medal at the 2007 Under-18s.

And I'd feel even better if Colin decided to go back to that Lion-O haircut he had a while back.